On September 22, LMU School of Film and Television celebrated a $13 million landmark gift from The Walter Lantz Foundation. The donation is comprised of a recent gift to the animation program, animation cels and art from The Walter Lantz Foundation Collection, and the remaining corpus of The Walter Lantz Trust, valued at over $5 million dollars, to be used as the lead investment for a new facility designed by Gensler.
Stephen Ujlaki, dean of the School of Film and Television, announced the news at the opening reception of the “Woody Woodpecker and the Avant-Garde” exhibit at the Laband Gallery, curated by LMU animation chair Tom Klein. The new facility will include a screening theater, visual effects workspace, editing suites and smart classrooms that will serve as a creative home for all students in the film program.
“Today is a special day for the School of Film and Television, not only because of the opening of this exhibit, but because this is the official launch of our new building campaign. This brings me to The Walter Lantz Foundation. I would like to acknowledge trustees Ed Landry, who joins us today and Peg Jackson, who we sadly lost earlier this summer. They have been a significant partner of the School of Film and Television during my time here as dean. It was with their support that we were able to provide a new facility for the animation department, produce this exhibit that highlights Walter Lantz’s legacy, and provide a lead gift for the new building,” said Ujlaki. “We are well on our way to providing a new innovative creative space for future generations of students.”
“The Walter Lantz Foundation is continually impressed with how well the school is preparing the next generation of young artists and storytellers,” said Edward Landry, trustee of The Walter Lantz Foundation. “We are grateful to be able to take the school to an even higher level of excellence with this gift. Walter Lantz was a true pioneer, and if he were alive today he would be thrilled that his legacy will live on at LMU.”
Watch the video below to learn more about what a $13 million gift from the Walter Lantz Foundation means for the school’s future: