Bill Murray Joins Cappy McGarr for Donation Ceremony in Belo Center

Cappy McGarr is an Emmy-nominated executive producer and creator of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. To students, he’s known for his campus namesake, Cappy’s Place, the coffee shop located on the ground floor of the Belo Center for New Media, where he presented UT Austin with posters signed by past award recipients on Saturday.

The award, which highlights individuals with similar societal impacts as the satirist and social observer Mark Twain, has been given to 20 people since 1998, including Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Murray. Standing before an audience gathered in front of Cappy’s Place, Murray, who received the award in 2016, presented the autographed posters alongside McGarr.

McGarr, BA ’73, BJ ’75, MBA ’77, Life Member, is one of the university’s most storied alumni, Dean of the Moody College of Communications Jay Bernhardt said in a press release. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the board of trustees of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1996 and again appointed by President Barack Obama in 2011, one of two people to be granted the position by two different presidents.

“I can honestly say during my two years as dean of this college, I’ve never met an alumnus I would describe as more ‘Moody’ than Cappy McGarr,” Bernhardt said at the event, “And I mean that in the kindest possible way.”

Murray teased McGarr that even though they have been longtime friends, it still isn’t clear to Murray what McGarr does for a living. He also spoke about past trips to Austin, his work with Wes Anderson, BA ’90, and his impression of the city.

“Thanks for inviting Cappy to be here today,” Murray said. “it gives me an opportunity to say I really like it here in Austin, Texas. I understand we’re supposed to keep it weird and I’m trying my very best.”

The posters will be donated to the Harry Ransom Center among objects like the Gutenberg Bible or the first photograph, McGarr joked, that pale in comparison to his donation.

“It felt like the Ransom Center had yet to capture the magnitude of human artistic achievement,” McGarr said. “I’m here to change all that today. It’s my honor to dedicate what can only be described as history’s greatest cultural artifacts—the complete collection of commemorative posters from the Kennedy Center. And unlike that sorry first photograph, these are in color.”


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