Film students with camera.
Dodge College students work with virtual production technology in the Digital Media Arts Center.

$2.5 Million Gift to Chapman Supports Innovation Hub at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts The impact of Inspire: The Campaign for Chapman University now includes a technological leap that will prepare students to lead far into the future.

As Chapman University prepares students to lead in the entertainment industry, it’s essential to provide hands-on experience with next-generation technology, says Stephen Galloway, dean of Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

That’s why Galloway and the university are excited to announce an anonymous gift of $2.5 million supporting an Innovation Hub at Dodge College, ranked The No. 4 film school in the nation by The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap. 

“We already provide the best facilities of any film school in the country,” Galloway said. “This generous gift will help move us into an even higher realm of technological innovation.” 

The $2.5 million gift elevates the impact of Inspire: The Campaign for Chapman University. The public phase of the campaign was launched in February with the goal of raising $500 million by 2028. So far, more than $325 million has been raised.

a rendering of a possible wraparound screen at Dodge College's Innovation Hub
A rendering of a possible wraparound screen at Dodge College’s Innovation Hub.

This latest gift targets innovation as Dodge “develops student filmmakers, writers and entertainment artists to impact society through the most transformative medium of communication in the world,” Galloway said. “By providing students with extensive access to the best equipment and trade tools in the industry, we’re committed to ensuring our graduates are prepared not just for today but for the future.”

“Chapman is all about innovation, and we are so grateful for this incredible gift that will equip our students in Dodge College with the latest technology for the future of filmmaking,” said Jim Mazzo, who is co-chair of the campaign along with Lisa Argyros.

In 2021, Dodge College became the first film school to install an LED virtual production wall, now in high demand for teaching and student film production in the Digital Media Arts Center on campus. Students have embraced the technology because it allows them to blend the live-action and digital filmmaking worlds – a hybrid form pioneered by Disney’s “The Mandalorian.” 

As Chapman and Dodge look to what comes next in the entertainment industry, the $2.5 million gift will spur future innovation by providing the means to forge new frontiers in film, Galloway said. 

“There are a few moments in history when technology can reshape an art form, and this is one of those moments,” Galloway said. “With AI and virtual production, we’re seeing a technological leap that will completely change how the content we watch gets created.”

A big part of this technological revolution is preparing students to thrive, the dean noted. “We have these advances, so let’s experiment with new ways to create art that we can’t yet imagine,” he added.

“This gift and this moment are inspiring us, and they will also inspire generations to come.”

Dennis Arp

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