BU Today


Going, going, gone — to the Oscars

COM’s online auction will support scholarships and equipment upgrades

Dean of COM John Schulz

Studying screenwriting at the College of Communication may be one route to the Academy Awards, but for the next couple of weeks, the college is suggesting a shortcut.

An online auction to benefit the school is offering celebrity-laced prizes such as a night at the 2007 Oscars, including a pre-event party hosted by Vanity Fair magazine. The prize is one of several that have been donated to the A-List Online Auction, named for the successful COM parents and alumni who donated prizes. Prizes include two tickets to the Primetime Emmy Awards, donated by Gary Grossman (MET’75), a private tour of the set of Desperate Housewives,  donated by Sabrina Wind (COM’90), two tickets to the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, courtesy of Suzan Evans (COM’77) and dinner with Bill O’Reilly (COM’75) of Fox News. The event is intended to raise money for the Dean’s Fund at COM, a discretionary fund supporting scholarships, equipment upgrades, and student and faculty travel to award ceremonies, festivals, and career-related events.

The online auction, which ends May 21, is designed to supplement a live auction fundraiser held in conjunction with COM’s first benefit golf tournament. The Terrier Golf Classic will be played on May 22 in White Plains, N.Y. Robyn Neeley, COM development officer, says organizers hope to raise more than $100,000.

COM Dean John Schulz says he was inspired to host a fundraising golf tournament after he attended the annual BU Golf Tournament. "We then quickly found a wonderfully generous parent," says Schulz. "Gerry Ritterman agreed to cover many of our basic costs, and together with Les Schupak (COM’67,’71), he agreed to host the tournament at the Metropolis Country Club, where they are both members."

Schupak, a managing partner at KCSA Public Relations in New York, is chairman of the nationwide Dean’s Executive Advisory Board.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, writer and producer Jeff Kline (COM’87) heard from his parents that prizes were needed for the silent auction. Kline, who works with BU in its Los Angeles program and often collaborates with Warner Brothers Animation, talked with his friend Sander Schwartz at Warner Brothers, who agreed to donate an animated cameo of the winner, or the person of the winner’s choice, to Kids’ WB’s Loonatics Unleashed. Kline expects this to be a much sought-after prize. "This is a way to be immortalized in a way your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will appreciate," he says. "You’ll never age."

Neeley says some winners in the online auction will be announced when it ends on May 21, but other items will be extended to the live auction, which takes place with the next day’s golf tournament. The top online bidder of an item going to live auction will have the chance to make a bid by proxy.

At press time, the bid for a weeklong luxury vacation to Acapulco, donated by Arturo Henirquez (CAS’93, GRS’03) hovered at a mere $875, while the Vanity Fair Oscar party, a gift from COM parent Gradyon Carter, editor-in-cheif of Vanity Fair, topped $5,500. And for the rest of us, there are trips to Fenway Park, from and Yankee Stadium.