Bird, Spielberg honored at Boston U commencement

May 17, 2009 6:00:25 PM PDT
Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird and film director Steven Spielberg were feted Sunday at Boston University with honorary degrees. Bird, who played for the Celtics for 13 seasons and was enshrined in basketball's Hall of Fame, is now president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers.

Spielberg has made classic movies such as "Jaws" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark." He recently directed "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano delivered the commencement address and received an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Zhang Yimou, the Chinese filmmaker who produced the opening and closing ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics, also received an honorary degree at the school's 136th graduation. He didn't attend the commencement ceremonies.

Zhang will start shooting a new movie in late May or June, his assistant told The Associated Press last month, marking the "Raise the Red Lantern" director's first project since designing the Beijing Olympics ceremonies.

Zhang, whose credits also include "To Live," hasn't made a movie since the 2006 historical epic "Curse of the Golden Flower."

Zhang wowed audiences with a stunning Olympics opening ceremony, which saw retired Chinese gymnast Li Ning soaring through the air carried by wires to light the Olympic cauldron. The opening ceremony won a Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.

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