CSUN Receives $1M Pledge From Anonymous Donor to Honor Entertainment Industry Alum
Public Relations and Strategic Communications
(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Feb. 1st, 2010) ― Temma Willey, chair of Cal State Northridge's Department of Cinema and Television Arts, announced today that the university has received a $1 million pledge from an anonymous donor who asked that the money be used for scholarships for students in her department.
The gift will be used to create the Scott M. Weiss Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Scott M. Weiss Memorial Scholarship Endowment in honor of a cinema and television arts alumnus and entertainment industry professional who was killed in an automobile accident in July 2008.
"This gift is not only generous, but inspiring," Willey said. "Scott Weiss' memory will be both an encouragement and a standard for a talented, creative and enterprising student to cross the bridge from school to his or her professional life. The gift truly is wonderful."
Scott M. Weiss Scholarships will be awarded to cinema and television arts students who meet the university's financial need requirements and demonstrate promise in their major measured by their passion, commitment, creativity and effort. A recipient must be at least a sophomore and maintain a 2.5 or higher grade point average. The first scholarship is expected to be awarded later this year.
Karen Kearns, associate dean of CSUN's Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communications, had Weiss as a student in fall 2000.
"Scott was in my single-camera television class," she said. "He and his group created a wonderful, five-minute piece called ‘Silver Lining.' It was about a little girl who was hit by a car and killed. Her organs were donated and the family met the little girl who received their daughter's heart. It was very touching. It also was the first time one of our television projects won a CSU Media Arts award. Scott was the editor on that team.
"He was a great student. He was funny and he worked really well with his group," Kearns recalled. "He just added so much to the team and its ability to create this wonderful story."
Kearns said she was "touched" that an endowment for cinema and television arts students was created in his honor.
"It is so difficult to think that a student this young has left us," she said. "Yet, his legacy will live on in the work of these other students he is able to help."
Scott Weiss transferred to Northridge in 1999 after having completed his general education requirements at Pierce and Valley Colleges. He enrolled in what was then the Radio-Television-Film Department with an eye on a career in the entertainment industry. During his final year at the university, Weiss obtained a much sought-after internship with a post-production company, earning credits toward his major at the same time. When he graduated in 2001, the company offered him a one-year contract to edit film coverage of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
In 2003, Weiss was hired by RIOT, a Santa Monica-based post-production company, to work exclusively on the company's contract with the Fox Broadcasting Company. His editing skills were used to create promos for upcoming movies on the FX cable channel. Pleased with his work, Fox hired Weiss as an in-house editor in 2006 when it ended its contract with RIOT.
Two years later, on July 12, 2008, Weiss was killed in a automobile accident. He was 32.
Cal State Northridge's Department of Cinema and Television Arts, housed in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, is well respected by those in the entertainment industry, who frequently guest lecture and teach in the program and regularly hire its graduates. Alumni of the program have gone on to hold key positions in the entertainment industry-from writing and directing feature films to creating innovative shows for television and other media.
California State University, Northridge has more than 33,000 full- and part-time students and offers 66 bachelor's and 53 master's degrees as well as 28 teaching credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond.
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If you wish to donate by check or money order, simply indicate the name of the fund you'd like to contribute to in the memo section, and make the check or money order payable to CSUN Foundation. You may mail the donation to:
California State University, Northridge – Student Affairs
Attn: Jerry De Felice
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8239
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If you are a CSUN employee, you may donate through payroll deduction. Fill out the Faculty/Staff Payroll Deduction Authorization form and submit it to the CSUN Foundation, mail drop 8296. For more information, contact the Foundation at (818) 677-4657.
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