Wonder where the next crop of young filmmakers are coming from? The answer is simple: Chapman University.
At its annual Summer Luncheon at Balboa Bay Resort on June 20, the Women of Chapman support group, which has numerous Newport Beach members, bestowed $50,000 worth of endowment money to a handful of Chapman students to help support their upcoming senior thesis films.
Founded in 1971, Women of Chapman has contributed more than $7.5 million to the university and is currently fulfilling a $1 million pledge to the university’s Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts and a $500,000 pledge to Dodge College of Film and Media Arts’ Digital Media Arts Center.
The board of directors recently committed $1 million to the university’s Center for Science and Engineering, due to open in 2018.
At the luncheon, Women of Chapman President Barbara Eidson of the Island Hotel presented a $425,000 check to Chapman University President Dr. Daniele Struppa as the group’s contribution for the 2016-2017 year.
The main portion of the gift was from the group’s only fundraiser, “Christmas at The Ritz,” which is held annually at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.
Struppa acknowledged the gift, as well as Bob Bassett, Dean of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, and Richard Bryant, Executive Director of Musco Center for the Arts.
“This is my favorite group—it’s the most beautiful, glamorous group of supporters any university has ever had,” Struppa told the audience. “This has been a fantastic year, it’s the end of my first year as president. The thing that makes it dear to me is that the first commitment I received came from this group for our beautiful Center for Science and Technology, renamed Center for Science and Engineering. I hope to organize tours for you, it’s beautiful. It will help spur young women to pursue careers in science.”
Bassett noted that Women of Chapman built the Women of Chapman board room, where he hosts diners several times a week.
“I’m delighted to have a Women of Chapman filmmaker in residence,” said Bassett. “I hope each of you can come and meet the filmmaker and meet the students, you have such a transforming effect on our students. I am so grateful.”
Event Co-Chairs were Donna Bunce and Donna Calvert. Adrienne Brandes is the Student Filmmaker Endowment Chair. Among those in attendance was Gregg Schwenk, co-founder and CEO of the Newport Beach Film Festival, which has a Chapman University Student Film showcase every year.