Actor Gary Cole has been selected as this year’s College of Fine Arts spring commencement speaker.

Cole grew up in the Chicago suburb of Rolling Meadows, and attended Illinois State University from 1974–1977 where he majored in theatre. He began his acting career in 1978 with the Steppenwolf Theatre Co., where he is still a member of the Ensemble. Cole has appeared in several productions at the Chicago theater, as well as appeared off-Broadway in the Steppenwolf production of True West, and as part of the original London cast of August: Osage County.

Eventually moving to Los Angeles in the mid-80’s, Cole’s television career began with the NBC miniseries Fatal Vision. Other television credits include roles on the shows Midnight Caller, American Gothic, The West Wing, Entourage, and The Good Wife as well as guest appearances on shows such as Psych, Chuck, True Blood, and many others. He has also done voice work on several animated series, including Family Guy, Kim Possible, and Harvey Birdman, and Attorney at Law. Cole is currently appearing in the HBO series Veep, where he plays the character Kent Davison and for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

Cole’s film appearances include In the Line of Fire, The Brady Bunch movies, One Hour Photo, Talladega Nights, Pineapple Express, and in his not-to-be forgotten role as Bill Lumbergh in the cult classic Office Space.

Cole will give the spring 2017 commencement speech for the College of Fine Arts on Saturday, May 13, at 7 p.m. in Braden Auditorium, located in the Bone Student Center.