Everyone loves a good Tom Hanks movie every now and again. You’ve Got Mail, Castaway, or That Thing You Do will satisfy any Hanks fan’s need. He’s such an appealing actor and seems to have a movie that everyone loves. But what people don’t know is that Tom Hanks has a scholarship program for students in major arts at Wright State University. In 2005 Hanks and his wife donated nearly $5,000 to the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures. This was the beginning of the Tom Hanks Scholarship and Visiting Artist Fund. After collaborating with Erik Bork, an alumnus of Wright State, on the television series Band of Brothers and hearing about his experience at WSU, Hanks was bound to create a scholarship program for the students. In May of 2005 a black-tie affair raised over $20,000 for the scholarship.
The quarter I transferred to Wright State I was walking through the Union looking for something good to eat when swore I saw a high school friend by the name of Baxter Stapleton. To my surprise, it indeed was him. We met up for coffee one day and he informed me that he had just transferred to Wright State as well that quarter to attend the film school. In a recent chat with my long time friend he told me why exactly he chose Wright State for his studies. “I decided to transfer since Wright State’s programs complemented perfectly with what I want to do after I graduate. I was immediately attracted to the film program because of my interest in documentary filmmaking and the amazing work I had seen come out of the program” said Stapleton.
Wright State students have been acknowledged for their work in producing and writing feature-length and short form films and winning Golden Globe and Emmy awards. Their work has also been in multiple film festivals winning various awards. Students get the opportunity to work in all different aspects of the film industry through the program, everything from a producer of features to being the director.
Stapleton informed me that the students in the film program work a great deal with FilmDayton and that this year; the students’ work will show up at the FilmDayton Festival this weekend. This is their second annual film festival and is an awesome opportunity for the young film makers of Wright State to get to show their work. “Not only does Wright State have great academic programs, but the University also does a great job of immersing the students into the community” said Stapleton. So if you get some free time this weekend, stop by the film festival and take a look at what the talent of Wright State has to offer!