Education Put on Hold, A Film Mogul Gets His Due

This post comes from article published September 27, 2000.

It was an honor that moved the movie mogul more than any statuette ever could.

So much so that when Harvey Weinstein — whose Miramax films have received 148 Oscar nominations and 42 Oscars — received an honorary doctoral degree Tuesday at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, the powerful man was visibly shaken.

“I’ve received some honors in my life. I’ve been lucky that way,” Weinstein said. “But I can’t tell you how emotional this feels.”

Gripping a diploma that was perhaps 30 years in the making, the former English major toasted his friends while addressing about 80 invited guests in the university’s art gallery.

“They’ve been with me through thick and thin,” Weinstein said, referring to the cadre that included State Supreme Court Justice Eugene Fahey, attorney Dennis Ward and Rich Products Co. executive Jonathan Dandes.

“I want to tell you that they also motivated me to be successful, because when I would come into our house and tell them I wanted to make a movie, they would tell me to shut up.”

Weinstein’s flourishing career may have started with a course in human sexuality, as Fahey explained it.

As young studs in the 1970s, Weinstein, Fahey and Ward discovered the university’s nursing curriculum. To further their independent study, the housemates elected to take a course in human sexuality.

Only one thing: Weinstein didn’t get in.

“He ended up taking a film course,” Fahey recalled. “Dennis . . . went on to a life of perversion, and due to my sleeping habits, I went into politics.”
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