Baryshnikov was artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre for 10 years, ending in 1990. The Russian artist has held several other prominent positions at ballet companies. In 2005 he founded the Baryshnikov Arts Center, a New York-based creative hub.
In 1977 he recieved an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in The Turning Point. Just a few years later, in 1980, he won an Emmy Award for Barsyshnikov on Broadway with Liza Minelli.
Northwestern students may know him as having a guest spot on Sex and the City that ran for nine episodes in 2004 in which he played Aleksandr Petrovsky, temporary lover of protagonist Carrie Bradshaw.
The 155th Commencement ceremony will be held on June 21 at Ryan Field at 9:30 a.m.