Industry donating big to USC expansion

Fox, Disney, Warners among contributors to film school

With the 80th anniversary of USC's School of Cinematic Arts imminent, industry benefactors have been lining up to support the institution's expansion.

Fox Entertainment Group, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, the Dana and Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli Foundation and Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg are among the donors that have ponied up to support construction of the school's new campus, which USC hopes to complete next year.

Since 2006, fundraisers have accumulated nearly $125 million of the $175 million needed to finish the state-of-the-art project.

Alumni including John August, Ashley and David Kramer, Peter Segal, Stacey Sher and Jana and Stephen Sommers also have contributed.

George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg will present a tour of the new campus March 29 during a news conference with SCA dean Elizabeth Daley and USC president Steven Sample.

"We are incredibly proud of our close and valued ties to the entertainment industry," Daley said. "For decades, the generosity of our industry colleagues has been vital for our continued growth and renewal. We believe, as do our colleagues, that their contributions are investments in the future of cinema."

The SCA was founded in 1929, when USC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created the nation's first university-based film classes. The new campus includes a 137,000-square-foot main complex with eight screening rooms, three sound-mixing rooms, six picture-editing labs and additional exhibition space.

Not complete are a 38,000-square-foot animation and digital-arts building, four soundstages, a production equipment center and a Cinematic Arts Park for exterior filming.

Additional donors include the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation, Salon Films, Spike TV, AMPAS, the Alma and Alfred Hitchcock Foundation, the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation, the Lucasfilm Foundation and Entertainment Partners.