CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Jennifer Garner has been named Woman of the Year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, based not just on her career as an actor, but also because of her record as a philanthropist and entrepreneur, the organization said Thursday.
Garner, 49, will be the guest of honor at a parade through Harvard Square, followed by a roast at which she will receive her pudding pot, the theater troupe said in a statement.
Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which dates to 1844 and bills itself the third oldest theater group in the world, established its Woman of the Year award in 1951 to honor people who have made “lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment.” Last year’s recipient was Viola Davis, and previous winners include Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Ethel Merman and Cher.
The date of the parade, Feb. 5, is also opening night for the group’s latest performance.
“We are thrilled to honor Jennifer Garner, who will be the first Woman of the Year to be honored on Opening Night,” co-producer Molly Chiang said. “‘13 Going on 30’ was my go-to movie growing up, so I can’t wait to meet her.”
Garner was nominated for several Primetime Emmys for her role as Sydney Bristow in the television spy series “Alias.” She has been lauded for her work in several movies including “Juno,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “13 Going on 30.”
Garner, who grew up in Charleston, West Virginia, is a Save the Children trustee and has advocated on Capitol Hill and around the nation to raise awareness and funds for the organization. She also co-founded the organic food company Once Upon a Farm in 2017, with a goal of providing children with the highest quality food grown using sustainable methods.
Jason Bateman, who played Garner’s husband in the 2007 film “Juno,” was named 2022 Man of the Year last month.