Charity Spotlight: Women of Chapman Awards Grants to Chapman Film Students

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Dodge College film student receiving WOC endowment monies – Ciani Walker, Jerry Hu, Jesse Hallen, Emma Hall, Madeline Davies, Julia Elihu, Leslie Susman, Morgan Barraza, Kiley Callahan

Women of Chapman, Chapman University’s 48-year-old support group, has contributed more than $7 million to the university since its inception.

During the annual Women of Chapman Summer Luncheon held June 27 at the Balboa Bay Resort, the group added to that total with $55,000 in grants to Chapman University film students at the school’s Dodge College, part of a $1 million endowment to give outstanding film students monies for their senior projects, a requirement for graduation.

Women of Chapman also added a new $1 million pledge to the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the Rinker Campus in Irvine.

Women of Chapman’s annual Summer Luncheon was attended by 100 members, including 18 new members and its outgoing and incoming boards of directors.

The main focus of the luncheon was to present the Women of Chapman Endowment monies to deserving Dodge College student filmmakers. Women of Chapman established a $1 million endowment to give outstanding film students monies for their senior projects, a requirement for graduation.

This year’s recipients included Director Kiley Callahan and Producer Morgan Barraza for “Keys,” $5,000; Director Jesse Hallen and Producer Emma Hall for “Fairfax Natives,” $10,000; Director Madeline Davies for “Love Me Tender,” $11,000; Director Ciani Walker and Producer Jerry Hu for “Misfits,” $11,000; Director Julia Elihu and Producer Leslie Susman for “The Winter of ’79,” $15,000.

Retired Dodge College Foudning Dean Bob Bassett and his wife Janell Bassett, retired Media Arts Division Chair

Another highlight was the recognition of Bob Bassett, founding dean of Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Thirty-eight years ago, Bassett became the University’s first full-time film professor with no students or film major.

“The entire film department was in my office,” he said.

To commemorate the occasion, Women of Chapman gave Bassett two bottles of cabernet sauvignon: Justin’s Isosceles and a 2015 Caymus Reserve cab. The Caymus was engraved to say “Thank You Dean Bob Bassett—A Forever Friend to the Women of Chapman.”

Dodge College is now internationally recognized and is ranked by The Hollywood Reportersixth as sixth among the country’s top 25 film schools. Bassett’s Filmmaker-in-Residence program has brought a number of top filmmakers to the campus, including many who stayed to teach.

Among Dodge College alumni are Matt and Ross Duffer ’07 for “Stranger Things,” Justin Simien ’05 for “Dear White People,” Patrick Don Vito, editor for “The Green Book,” 2019 Academy Award winner for Best Picture; and Janice Chua ’11, associate producer for “Crazy Rich Asians” and vice president for international development and production at Imagine Entertainment.

Janell Shearer, chair of the media arts division at Dodge College and Bassett’s wife, also attended and was given two dozen roses on the eve of her retirement.

Kristen Rhynerson, Donna Bunce, Anne Manassero (Women of Chapman President)

Women of Chapman President Anne Manassero presented a $264,100 check to Chapman University President Daniele Struppa; Bassett for its Filmmaker-In-Residence program; Janeen Hill, dean of Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences for the Women of Chapman Central Park at the Rinker Campus; Kate Berry, assistant director of institutional support at the Schmid College of Science and Technology for the Women of Chapman Gallery of Science in the Keck Center for Science and Engineering.

The main portion of the gift was from the group’s sole fundraiser, “Christmas at The Ritz,” which is held annually at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

The event’s co-chairs were Donna Bunce and Kiki Rhynerson.

Manassero recognized members of the steering committee, new Women of Chapman members, and past presidents: Donna Bunce, Leslie Cancellieri, Adrienne Brandes, Kathy Hamilton, Donna Bianchi, and Barbara Eidson.

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