Sherry Lansing, who shattered industry barriers as the first woman ever to run a major studio and who later served for many years as chair and CEO of Paramount Pictures will be the keynote speaker at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20.
Dodge College Dean Stephen Galloway’s 2017 book “Leading Lady” included Meryl Streep’s comment about Lansing: “Sherry Lansing was the pioneer who made ‘female head of studio’ no longer an oxymoron by virtue of her smarts, her determination, her capacity for making tough decisions and, not insignificantly, by virtue of her charm, her calm and her kindness. She paved the way for the tsunami of women who now fill the executive ranks of our industry.”
A Hollywood icon, Lansing currently chairs the board of Universal Music Group. She also has served on the University of California Board of Regents, and has produced such acclaimed movies as “Fatal Attraction” and “The Accused.”
Named 20th Century Fox’s production president in 1980, she subsequently headed Paramount from 1992 to 2005, greenlighting three best-picture Academy Award winners: “Forrest Gump,” “Braveheart,” and “Titanic.”
In 2007, she was awarded an honorary Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for her philanthropic endeavors. A co-founder of Stand Up to Cancer, she is also the head of her own nonprofit, the Sherry Lansing Foundation.
“Sherry Lansing is one of the most remarkable people ever to work in Hollywood,” says Galloway. “She not only proved that women are just as capable leaders as men, she outshone them all and she did it by showing that power and kindness can go hand in hand. I’m delighted she’ll be our Commencement speaker.”
About Chapman University
Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university located in Southern California. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 “high research activity” institution and offers personalized education to more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Based in the city of Orange, Chapman also includes the Harry and Diane Rinker Health Science Campus in Irvine. In 2019, the university opened its 11th college, Fowler School of Engineering, in its newest facility, Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Learn more about Chapman University: www.chapman.edu.