This story appeared in the fall 2014 issue of
The Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus and the Digital Media Arts Center are more than just new buildings that welcomed Chapman University students this fall. Both are learning centers for soon-to-be leaders in two of today’s most dynamic industries — health care and entertainment.
The Rinker Campus
, unveiled at an Oct. 15 ribbon-cutting, is home to Chapman’s new School of Pharmacy and the University’s widely respected physical therapy doctoral program. The campus is well-positioned amid a cluster of large R&D ventures in the Irvine Spectrum area and can accommodate Chapman’s continuing growth in health science graduate programs.
The new campus was made possible by a transformational $15 million naming gift from Newport Beach couple Harry and Diane Rinker, longtime Chapman supporters.
“Chapman University has devoted significant attention to science and technology in recent years, and this gift from Harry and Diane Rinker will help propel Chapman into an area where we think we can make a long-term impact,” said Chapman Chancellor Daniele Struppa.
The goal of immersing students in a team-based approach to health care shaped the design of the campus. Among its features are flexible, shared classrooms and research laboratories to support inter-professional education and interdisciplinary research. Additionally, students learn in simulated environments that model the new arenas in which advanced care professionals will practice.
The Digital Media Arts Center (DMAC)
is a high-tech facility that reflects the tremendous demand for computer animation skills needed throughout the entertainment industry, says William
Kroyer, professor and director of the Digital Arts Program at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Animated and high-action special-effects films make up 85 percent of box offices sales. Gaming, Web design and handheld media industries are equally hungry for digital artists.
“The digital arts are really an exploding industry. To teach that properly, you need a dedicated facility,” says Kroyer.
The new center is on Cypress Street, across from Marion Knott Studios. The project also includes a new 357-space parking structure, fronted by the original brick façade of the former industrial plant on the site, creating an artful balance of historic preservation and modern function.
The DMAC includes editing suites, state-of-the-art labs and a screening theatre that features 4K digital projection, plug-in jacks for interactive multiplayer gaming, and seating arranged to promote collaboration.
That inventive environment was carefully replicated throughout the center, Kroyer says. Food service, an outdoor picnic area and even large communal charging tables were incorporated to encourage more informal interaction.
“If you go to Pixar, Disney, Google or any state-of-the-art facilities, you’ll see hangout space,” Kroyer says. “Students from other programs and schools on campus can come over and meet friends, start conversations and see what others are working on. That’s the way ideas happen.”