CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University recently announced that an acclaimed actor who received the National Endowment for the Humanities Medial in 2012 will headline the university’s Distinguished Lecture Series’ annual spring event.

According to a news release from the university, Anna Deavere Smith, an actress, playwright and educator, is expected to speak at 7 p.m. on April 4 in Legacy Hall at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center on the university’s Canyon campus. Officials said this event will be co-hosted by the university’s Department of Art, Theatre and Dance and will be co-sponsored by the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Smith, who has appeared in television shows like “The West Wing” and films like “The American President” and “Philadelphia,” is best known for her style of theater, combining a journalistic interview with interpreting words through performance. Her drama “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992,” a one-woman show that followed the uprising after the acquittal of police officers who were involved in the beating of Rodney King, was nominated for two Tony Awards.

Currently a professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Smith was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal in 2012 by President Barack Obama. She also has been named the Jefferson Lecturer, the highest honor in humanities, received the 2013 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for achievement in the arts and the George Polk Career Award in Journalism.

“I am thrilled to have Anna Deveare Smith coming to WT,” Dr. Emily Kinsky, chair of the DLS committee and professor of media communication, said in the release. “It is essential for the Distinguished Lecture Series to bring speakers with different talents, backgrounds and experiences to our campus and for WT students and our broader community to see how these people have used their abilities, knowledge and influence to benefit others.”

Along with the event, Smith is expected to also instruct a masterclass for WT theatre students.

“I believe students will be inspired by Anna Deveare Smith’s successful career, the impressive awards she has earned and, most of all, how she has used her talents for good,” Kinsky said in the release.

According to the release, the lecture is free and open to the public. For more information about the university, visit its website.