AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin and Hollywood will soon have more of a connection. The Cain Foundation has made a historic investment in the Moody College of Communication to create the Wofford Denius UTLA Center for Entertainment and Media Studies. The new center will enable more students from across The University of Texas at Austin to live, study and work in Los Angeles, and it will link Austin with Hollywood entertainment and media industries.
The Denius Center builds upon the existing UT Semester in Los Angeles Program, created in 2005, to provide first-hand experiences for students interested in the entertainment industry through engagement with industry leaders, internships and course work.
The additional Denius Center provides a new Burbank facility for classes, administration and events; additional scholarship support based on need and merit; and double the capacity for students to attend — including students enrolled in the McCombs School of Business and the College of Fine Arts.
“I am confident that the Wofford Denius UTLA Center for Entertainment and Media Studies will serve as a landmark initiative to bridge Austin and Hollywood business and creative communities — enabling Moody College to become a top provider of diverse talent for the entertainment and media industries and creating access for our students to top entertainment jobs,” said Jay Bernhardt, dean of the Moody College. “I’d like to thank the Cain Foundation and Wofford Denius for their visionary guidance and continued support of our students and programs.”
The Denius Center will build on Moody College’s history of innovative partnerships with the entertainment industry and leverage the highly ranked standing of its Department of Radio-Television-Film.
In 2013, a gift from the Moody Foundation created UT3D, the nation’s first comprehensive 3-D production curriculum that enlisted as faculty members leading 3-D filmmakers such as Buzz Hays, Dave Drzewiecki, Shannon Benna, Matt Blute and Wayne Miller. In 2015, Matthew McConaughey developed and began co-teaching a class in Radio-Television-Film.
“Twenty-eight years ago I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dream to become a music attorney and work with my passion in music,” said Wofford Denius (B.B.A., ’74), chairman of the Cain Foundation. “I hope this program will enable students to discover and pursue their passions and dreams by exposing them to the numerous opportunities available in the ever-growing and evolving world of entertainment.”
At the request of the donor, the amount of the gift is kept confidential. Naming opportunities for centers and institutes at The University of Texas at Austin begin at $3 million.