Baylor Film and Digital Media now its own department, thanks to transformative gift
For years, Baylor’s Film and Digital Media (FDM) program has been a well-respected part of the university’s Department of Communication. The program’s long line of successful graduates includes such notable names as John Lee Hancock, BA ’79, JD ’82 (director of The Blind Side, The Rookie and and Saving Mr. Banks), and 2014 Baylor Alumni of the Year Michael Brandt, BBA ’91, MA ’94, and Derek Haas, BA ’91, MA ’95, co-creators of NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med.
Now, a generous gift from an FDM graduate and his father is allowing the program to grow even further. Matthew Lindner, BA ’12, and his father, Carl, together created the Matthew B. Lindner Endowment for Excellence in Film and Digital Media. Their combined gifts have helped make the Department of Film and Digital Media a freestanding department within Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences.
“During the last decade, we’ve been developing a dynamic Film and Digital Media program built around storytelling in all its forms, training students to be filmmakers and professionals in other areas of media production who are proficient with the latest technology and discerning with the power they have as creators of compelling narratives,” said longtime Baylor FDM professor Chris Hansen, who was named the department’s inaugural chair.
FDM professors such as Hansen, Dr. Corey Carbonara, Brian Elliott (BA ’80, MA ’90), Dr. James Kendrick (BA ’96, MA ’99), Dr. Joe Kickasola and Dr. Michael Korpi have all been at Baylor for a decade or more, during which time Baylor FDM has established a reputation as a place where students with drive and talent can find their artistic voice and develop skills as storytellers. The program’s graduates have gone on to careers as noted writers, directors, cinematographers and producers across the country, establishing a strong link between the Baylor name and industry success.
As Baylor President Ken Starr noted, the Lindners’ gifts and Baylor FDM’s growth “will help strengthen Baylor’s ability to produce industry leaders who bring a faith-informed approach to the artistry of film-based storytelling.”
Sic ’em, Lindner family and Baylor FDM!