Brad Falchuk ’93, L.H.D.’14, the Emmy Award-winning co-creator, executive producer and director of “American Horror Story,” “Scream Queens” and “Glee” will be recognized by Sigma Chi fraternity, whose executive committee voted on Jan. 22 to honor him with a 2016 Significant Sig Award.
With past recipients including actors John Wayne and Tom Selleck, football coaches Urban Meyer and Sean Payton and philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman, the award recognizes Sigma Chi alumni whose achievements in their fields have brought honor and prestige to the fraternity.
Falchuk, who discovered his passion for writing, producing and storytelling while taking film classes with Associate Professor of English Elisabeth Lyon, was an English major at the Colleges with an emphasis in theatre. The play he wrote and developed into a film during an independent study with Lyon helped him secure admission to graduate school at the American Film Institute, where he earned a degree in screenwriting.
Falchuk began writing spec scripts (sample episodes of existing TV shows) that he sent to agents and that led to numerous jobs writing for TV shows such as “Mutant X” (2001), “Earth: Final Conflict” (2001-2002) and “Veritas: The Quest” (2003) before he was hired by Ryan Murphy to work on the first season of “Nip/Tuck.” This relationship proved to be invaluable as the pair went on to create “Glee,” along with Ian Brennan. The three received two Writers Guild of America Award nominations for Best Comedy Series and Best New Series with the show’s 2009 premiere.
After the early success of “Glee,” Falchuk signed a two-year deal with 20th Century Fox Television which involved further work on “Glee” as well as the development of other projects for the studio. In 2011, Falchuk, along with Murphy, co-created the FX horror drama “American Horror Story,” which has also been nominated for and won numerous Emmys and other awards.
In addition to his successful career, Falchuk is giving back as the co-creator of The Young Storytellers Foundation, which helps develop literacy and inspire children to discover the power of their own voices. Started in 2003, the program provides under-served, arts-poor public schools in the greater Los Angeles area with an opportunity to write stories and see them brought to life by famous actors through performance using group exercises and one-on-one mentoring. In 2014, Falchuk received an honorary doctorate from Hobart and William Smith.
Falchuk and the more than 60 members of the Significant Sig Award’s 2016 class will be recognized either at the Grand Council meeting from June 10 to 12 in Skokie, Ill., or at a ceremony with their local alumni or undergraduate chapter.