Lights, camera, action: Rowan gets $1M. for film department

Lights, camera, action: Rowan gets $1M. for film department

By DIANE D?AMICO Education Writer, (609) 272-7241

GLASSBORO - Rowan University added another $1 million to its impressive endowment Thursday, announcing a pledge from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation to fund a professorial chair in the college's Radio/TV/Film Department.

"We want to recognize how important private gifting is getting to be," Rowan President Donald Farish said. "The work we do is important to maintain and increase our offerings."

Eugene Kokot, trustee and secretary of the King Family Foundation, said their introduction to Rowan was through professor Michael Donovan, who has served as a consultant to the foundation in evaluating candidates for scholarships.

When Donovan asked if foundation officials would meet with college officials, Kokot said that they agreed because they had been so impressed with Donovan.

"We met with President Farish, and his goals are consistent with ours," Kokot said.

He said while their $1 million may not compare with Henry Rowan's $100 million gift, "it is a powerful statement for us. We look forward to great things."

Farish praised the department for making such a good impression on the foundation, and named Donovan as the founding chairman.

The college will get $200,000 per year for five years, with the funds managed by the Rowan Foundation as part of its investment portfolio. The foundation will allocate 5 percent of the fund value back to the department each year.

The King Family Foundation, a state nonprofit organization, was founded in 1989 by Diana King in honor of her parents, whose work in film and television led to the creation of King World Productions Inc. The foundation funds about 15 to 20 scholarships a year to college juniors and seniors pursuing degrees in television and film production.

Rowan students have been among the scholarship recipients, and Diana King, a lifelong New Jerseyan, was recognized by Rowan with an honorary degree in May.

Donovan said the gift will affect thousands of students and faculty by allowing the college to remain on the cutting edge in an industry that is constantly changing. The ultimate goal is a visiting professorship, which will likely not be funded until the entire endowment has been received.

"This is going to give us the opportunity to bring in significant people in the industry," Donovan said.

He also had one request for the endowed chair.

"Since I'm a TV guy," he said. "I'd like the chair to be a recliner."

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Date Published: Friday, September 20, 2002 - 09:11
Source URL: Press of Atlantic City