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Film Exec Renews Support for SDSU

Blockbuster producer Kathleen Kennedy, '75, helps film students tell their stories.
Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy

One of Hollywood’s most accomplished film executives is enabling SDSU students to make the films that could launch their careers.

Alumna Kathleen Kennedy, ’79, together with her husband and business partner Frank Marshall, has renewed her support for SDSU’s School of Theatre, Television and Film with a $100,000 gift.

Her previous gift established the Kathleen Kennedy Student Awards, which offset production costs and film festival fees.

Kennedy’s new donation will continue the awards and:

  • Provide production support to increase opportunities for shooting on location
  • Support the appointment of a dedicated faculty member to manage and coordinate student internships
  • Bring high-visibility guest artists to campus for lectures and workshops on cinematography and screenwriting

Fueling potential

“Students need opportunities to pursue their own creative interests while getting meaningful glimpses at the professional world, and where their careers might be headed." said Kennedy, who became co-chair of Lucasfilm this summer.

Walt Disney Co.’s recent acquisition of Lucasfilm means Kennedy will be executive producer of the new “Star Wars” films planned by Disney.

Kennedy stressed the importance of exploring different kinds of stories and how best to tell them.

“There is no such thing as failure in an environment where you can learn so much with each attempt,” Kennedy added. “I am very proud to be able to support that particular kind of education.”

An impressive resume

As co-founder of Amblin Entertainment with Marshall and Steven Spielberg, Kennedy produced “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Color Purple” and “Back to the Future.”

She is also co-producer with Spielberg of the new film “Lincoln,” which opened in theatres this month.

Joyce Gattas, dean of the School of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, said, Kennedy’s gift will “build on areas of strength, enhance excellence in the classroom and burnish SDSU’s nationally respected film program."

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