Hef gives money to USC, not UIUC

From November 19, 2007:

Click to Read

Article on the Web site of the University of Southern California about a $2 million donation from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner that will help establish a new exhibition space in the famed USC School of Cinematic Arts as well as an archive for storing student films, academic records, and priceless Hollywood memorabilia.


Editor’s note: I attended the film preservation workshop that I mentioned a few weeks ago on C-U Blogfidential and, in the course of talking with the young archivists and graduate students who ran the event, sensed a hopeful but hesitant vibe. The workshop most likely arose from a grant awarded the Graduate School of Library and Information Science in late 2006 which is funding the development of a procedure that will help librarians assess and improve the condition of their media collections. However, that $420,000 grant apparently has little to do with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign actively preserving its own holdings or providing its staff with state-of-the-art tools for research and development.

If you know me, then you can guess what kind of surly ruminations are about to leap forward from my otherwise happy little keyboard:

Wouldn’t it be nice if UIUC had legitimate reasons to attract the continuing interest and support of successful alumni in the media and entertainment fields who do not go by the name of Roger Ebert?

Wouldn’t it be great if a movie-loving entrepreneur like Hefner could be encouraged to deposit funds at his alma mater for the sake of fostering the study, creation, and preservation of this past century’s most dominant art form?

Wouldn’t it be swell if UIUC stopped fucking around and established an honest to goodness film school in a state that offers too few high-class options for learning cinema through the lens of a camera?

Wouldn’t it be brilliant if someone high up in the UIUC food chain actually took me seriously and made it happen? Brilliant, I’d say!

~ Jason Pankoke

Comments closed.