The Patricia Mitchell Trusts have announced gifts totaling $50 million in support of efforts to promote diversity and ethics in entertainment.
Gifts of $20 million to the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television (UCLA TFT), $10 million to the University of Michigan, and $20 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts were made possible by the late Patricia W. Mitchell as a way to honor the legacy of her husband, television industry leader John H. Mitchell, who died in 1988.
UCLA TFT will use $10 million of its gift, along with $5 million from the UCLA Chancellor's Centennial Matching Fund, to create the John H. and Patricia W. Mitchell Endowed Scholarship Fund; the remaining $10 million will create the John H. Mitchell Television Programming Endowment, the John H. Mitchell Television Preservation Endowment, and the John H. Mitchell Infrastructure Fund at the UCLA Film & Television Archive. U-M, where John Mitchell earned a bachelor's degree in economics, will use its gift to establish a $5 million endowment in its College of Literature, Science, and the Arts' Department of Film, Television, and Media in support of initiatives designed to expose a diverse community of students to all aspects of the media and entertainment industry; the remaining $5 million will be used to establish the Mitchell Program for Business Ethics and Communications in the university's Stephen M. Ross School of Business. And with its gift of $20 million and a matching donation of $5 million, USC will establish the John H. Mitchell Endowed Fund for the Business of Entertainment, which in turn will support the John H. Mitchell Business of Cinematic Arts Program and the John H. Mitchell Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment; the gift also will be used to create an endowed chair in the Business of Entertainment and an endowed fund in support of students enrolled in the School of Cinematic Arts.
John H. Mitchell began his career in the television's formative years, joining Screen Gems in 1952 and eventually founding what became Columbia Pictures Television and serving as its president from 1968 to 1977. In the 1980s, he served three terms as president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
"Increasing global competition and the accelerating pace and scale of technological innovation are disrupting all of the world’s major industry sectors and creating enormous challenges and opportunities for individuals and companies in the process," said Mitchell Trusts trustee William C. Allen. "World-class research universities are at the center of much of this innovation and transformation and are increasingly attracting the best and the brightest students from around the globe. As such, they are uniquely positioned to prepare current and future generations to navigate these complexities as their graduates go on to create, scale, and sustain both companies and content for rapidly evolving industries like media and entertainment."
(Photo credit: Patricia Mitchell Trusts)