University of Texas Los Angeles Center Receives $500,000 To Enable Students to Start Careers in Entertainment Industry

AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas Los Angeles (UTLA) Center has received a $500,000 grant from the Cain Foundation to provide scholarships to students participating in the Semester in Los Angeles program.

The Cain Foundation is endowing the Wofford Denius UT in LA Scholarship, which will help University of Texas at Austin students enhance their education and start their careers in the entertainment industry. The scholarship is named for Wofford Denius (BBA ’74), a music attorney in Los Angeles and a director of the Cain Foundation. This is the second $500,000 grant the Cain Foundation has given the college to support student career exploration in entertainment related fields.

“Having moved to Los Angeles from Texas to pursue a career in entertainment law, I appreciate the challenges that Texas students face trying to break into this tight-knit industry without a network of industry contacts and first-hand experience in the business,” said Denius. “By spending a semester in LA, students can gain first-hand experience through internships and hone networking skills to build a ‘Rolodex’ of industry professional contacts.

“We’ve found that many UTLA Center students have had the inside track on potential job opportunities through their internships or the network of industry professionals they’ve built during the semester,” he added. “Overall, the UTLA Center is playing a critical role in launching UT students’ entertainment industry careers and strengthening the Longhorn network on the West Coast.”

Denius UT in LA Scholarships are made available to University of Texas at Austin College of Communication students participating in the Semester in Los Angeles Program based on their financial needs.

Opened in summer 2005, The University of Texas at Austin Los Angeles Center is in Burbank, Calif. and is the university’s West Coast hub of teaching and research on film, television and electronic media, as well as a location for industry and alumni activity. The Semester in LA program enables students from all majors across campus to spend a semester in Los Angeles learning about the entertainment business through classes and internships. 

As part of their curriculum, students meet with industry professionals where they work, including on the sets of film and TV productions, have the opportunity to experiment with equipment and gain insight into the industry. Guest speakers in the classroom have included: Dick Askin, president and CEO of Tribune Entertainment and president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; Mark Graziano, head of post-production for Dreamworks SKG; and Matthew Perry, film and TV actor.

Denius and the Cain Foundation established an endowment in 2000 to provide financial assistance to University of Texas at Austin College of Communication students pursuing summer internships in the music industry in Los Angeles, New York City and Nashville through the Wofford Denius Music Industry Internship Grants Program.

The Cain Foundation is a private family foundation established in 1952. The foundation primarily funds universities and medical schools in Texas, along with public charities and civic organizations.

For more information contact: Erin Geisler, College of Communication, 512-475-8071.