February 2, 2004
Michael Douglas Donates $1 Million to UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, Calif. Academy Award-winner Michael Douglas has contributed $1 million toward the construction of a Center for Film, Television and New Media at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
In recognition of the gift, the lobby of the center's public theater will be named in his honor. A graduate of UCSB, Douglas earned a B.A. in dramatic art from the campus in 1968. He is a member of the center's distinguished advisory board. At last month's Golden Globe Awards ceremony, Douglas received the 2004 Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field."
"I love UCSB, and am proud to be associated with the new Center for Film, Television and New Media," said Douglas. "I have watched UCSB become an international leader in education, and as an alumnus and benefactor, I have the personal satisfaction of having played a part in that transformation. This exciting center, with its public film theater, represents the very best in teaching, research and public service that a campus can offer."
The new privately funded facility for the Center for Film, Television and New Media, planned as part of a new state-funded academic building complex, will allow students and scholars from a variety of disciplines to study everything from silent films to the latest in digital media and satellite communications. The center's state-of-the-art facilities and equipment will enhance undergraduate and graduate education, promote interdisciplinary research, and serve the community with a public theater.
"We are grateful to Michael Douglas for this extraordinary commitment to UCSB," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "The Center for Film, Television and New Media and its public theater will become a major landmark on our campus. Its innovative approach to the study of film and mass media will lead to new insights and discoveries across the disciplines that will help shape the education of our students and the future direction of the communication and entertainment industries. I would like to express my gratitude to the center's faculty and its director, Constance Penley, and acknowledge the creativity and generosity of its outstanding advisory board."
The new UCSB center will bring together students and scholars from the campus's renowned departments of film studies and communication, as well as from 15 other departments in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences that study film, video, television, and emerging media. More than 4,500 students annually enroll in related programs and courses.
"Our strong liberal arts curriculum empowers students to find their voice, to develop creativity and critical thinking," said Constance Penley, director of the center. " We want to inform public policy debates through research on the social effects of mass media and through teaching that provides students with the skills and new forms of literacy that they need to be citizens in the 21st Century."
A total of $10 million in private philanthropic support is being sought for the center, which will house a public theater, a production suite, instructional and research laboratories, and climate-controlled film and television archival space. Private gifts will augment state funding for a new academic building complex that is scheduled to break ground in 2005, pending voter approval of the Proposition 55 state bond initiative. To date, nearly $4 million has been contributed for the project, beginning with a leadership gift of $2.5 million from television executive Marcy Carsey, a member of the center's advisory board.
According to David Marshall, dean of the humanities and fine arts, Douglas's gift "represents his commitment to UCSB's approach to film and media education in the context of a strong liberal arts curriculum."
A generous benefactor of UCSB, Douglas established an artist-in-residence program that brings contemporary actors and playwrights to the campus to conduct small workshops and seminars for students. He is also a former trustee of The UCSB Foundation.
Douglas won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1987 for his performance in Wall Street. He also won an Oscar for producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1975's best picture. In 1993, Douglas received the coveted American Cinematheque Award for his outstanding accomplishments in the field.
A Santa Barbara resident for over 30 years, Douglas remains devoted to the area and continues to support the county through his participation in numerous organizations, including the Douglas Family Preserve, a public park in Santa Barbara. In 1997, Douglas donated the remaining funds needed to purchase the property, saving 70 acres of coastal bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean from development. Douglas named the park in honor of his father, Kirk Douglas, who is now a Santa Barbara resident.
Michael Douglas also continues to support the Parks and Recreation Community Foundation. Each year, the organization presents the Michael Douglas Philanthropist of the Year Award to a Santa Barbara resident. In addition, he remains involved with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, which is dedicated to creating a more peaceful world free from the threat of war and weapons of mass destruction.
The 25-member board of the Center For Film, Television and New Media is chaired by Carsey and Scott Frank, a UCSB alumnus and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter. It includes many industry leaders, such as Gail Berman, president, Fox Broadcasting Corporation; UCSB alumna Elizabeth Gabler, president, Fox 2000 Entertainment Group; E. Duke Vincent, vice chairman, Spelling Television, and producers Dick Wolf, Tom Pollock, and Ivan Reitman. A complete list follows.
UCSB Advisory Board for the Center for Film, Television and New Media
Wallis Annenberg, vice president, Annenberg Foundation
Paris Barclay, director, writer, Warner Brothers
Gail Berman, president, FBC (Fox Broadcasting Corp.) Entertainment Group
Roger Birnbaum, co-chairman and CEO, Spyglass Entertainment
Marcy Carsey, partner, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach
Bruce C. Corwin, chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Theatres Corp.
Andrew Davis, producer, director, Chicago Pacific Entertainment
Danny DeVito, producer, director, actor, partner, Jersey Films
Michael Douglas, producer, director, actor, Furthur Films
Gary Erickson, president and CEO, The Erickson Group
Scott Frank, screenwriter, Arroyo Pictures
Elizabeth Gabler, president, Fox 2000
Lee Gabler, principal partner, Creative Artists Agency
Tory Metzger, agent, Creative Artists Agency
Jeff Nathanson, director, screenwriter
Sarah Pillsbury, independent producer, Sanford-Pillsbury
Joseph H. Pollock, M.D., founding director, Santa Barbara Film Festival
Tom Pollock, partner, The Montecito Picture Company
Ivan Reitman, partner, The Montecito Picture Company
Gary Ross, producer, Larger Than Life Productions
Arthur Seidelman, director, Entpro, Inc.
Michael Shamberg, producer, director, writer, partner, Double Feature Films
Stacey Sher, producer, partner, Double Feature Films
Brad Silberling, producer, screenwriter
E. Duke Vincent, executive producer and vice chairman, Spelling Television
Dick Wolf, producer, president, Wolf Films, Inc.