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(Boston) – DreamWorks Studios SKG co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, whose two children are 2005 Boston University graduates, have announced a $1.25 million donation to BU’s College of Communication (COM) and College of General Studies (CGS), the two schools their children attended.
“Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg have shown a true understanding of the needs of our community,” said BU President Robert A. Brown. “Their gift epitomizes the kind of thoughtfully targeted philanthropy so essential for Boston University to continue to provide students and faculty with the necessary tools and work space to succeed. We are extremely grateful to the Katzenbergs for their generous support of the university and its academic mission.”
The CGS gift will fund the renovation of the college’s third-floor study area which will be re-named the Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Center. Designed in the classical style inspired by the Boston Athenaeum, the space will offer individual and group study, computer terminals, wireless Internet access, and an elegant site for capstone project meetings, lectures and receptions when completed in fall `06.
“The new center will serve as a place to read, write and think in a space that is aesthetically conducive to study and reflection,” said CGS Dean Linda Wells, in whose honor the gift was given.
Within the College of Communication, two programs will benefit. A portion of the donation will fund the renovation and upgrade of the Photojournalism program space and equipment, including the creation of a professional photo studio and a new digital photo lab, to keep pace with advances in technology and to enhance students’ educational experience and professional training.
The gift to COM’s Department of Film and Television will also create the Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg High Definition Center, which will transform production classes to HD, and fund the purchase of sound and lighting equipment, digital editing workstations, and establish long-term support for the lease of HD equipment, enabling the department to consistently outpace other institutions and provide students with the most advanced resources available.
“Thanks to the wonderful generosity of the Katzenberg family, we can return to the forefront of colleges whose equipment and facilities are on the industry’s cutting edge,” said John Schulz, Dean of the College of Communication. “The facilities upgrade will have an impact for many years to come.”
Jeffrey Katzenberg is chief executive officer and director of DreamWorks Animation SKG. He co-founded DreamWorks Studios SKG with his partners Steven Spielberg and David Geffen in October 1994. The animation division became a separate public company in 2004. Under Katzenberg’s leadership, DreamWorks Animation has enjoyed such successes as “Madagascar,” Shark Tale” and the “Shrek” series. Prior to founding DreamWorks, Katzenberg served as chairman of The Walt Disney Studios from 1984 to 1994.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU contains 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.