March 18, 2011
Redstone and Unkrich to Speak at Graduation
Oscar winner and media titan to send students into the real world
There are many ways to address Sumner Redstone which are accurate; founder of Viacom, entertainment legend, philanthropist, board member of the Paley Center and Senior Executive at CBS. On May 13th, he will be able to add School of Cinematic Arts commencement speaker to his long list of honors. SCA alumni and Oscar winner Lee Unkrich will receive that Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the ceremony.
“We couldn’t be more pleased that Sumner Redstone will address our graduating class,” said Dean Elizabeth M. Daley. “Beyond his tremendous accomplishments, he remains a steadfast and continuing iconic force in the entertainment industry. Our students and the SCA are privileged to have him join us and present the commencement address. We are also proud to honor Lee Unkrich, a distinguished alum whose tremendous success over the years has been our pleasure to witness.”
Unkrich will join a long list of SCA alumni who have been honored with the Mary Pickford Alumni Award including Jon Landau, Shonda Rhimes, Brian Grazer, William Fraker, Conrad L. Hall, Ray Harryhausen, Alan Ladd Jr., Michelle Manning, Walter Murch, Jay Roach, Gary Rydstrom, Stacey Sher, John Singleton, David L. Wolper, Robert Zemeckis and Laura Ziskin.
Redstone is the Executive Chairman of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corporation. He was CEO of Viacom Inc. from 1996 to 2005 and has been Chairman of Viacom since 1986. He has also been Chairman of National Amusements, Inc., Viacom and CBS Corporation’s controlling stockholder, since 1986, and CEO of National Amusements since 1967. After taking control of Viacom in 1987, he executed a series of acquisitions to transform it into one of the leading media companies with operations across the television and motion picture landscape. Redstone continues to play a significant role in the affairs of the entertainment and communications business. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation, the Board of Trustees for The Paley Center for Media, and the Executive Committee of the National Association of Theatre Owners. Redstone also devotes a large portion of his time and energy to civic and community affairs and in recent years has made charitable grants of more than $100 million to fund research and patient care advancements through such leading organizations as Autism Speaks, USC’s Keck School of Medicine, FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions, and Massachusetts General Hospital. He enjoys and takes pride in teaching college students, and has lectured at a number of leading universities, including Boston University, Brandeis University, Harvard Law School, as well as the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Unkrich most recently directed the critical and box office smash hit Toy Story 3, which won the Academy Award ® for Best Animated Feature and became the most successful film in animation history, grossing more than $1 billion worldwide. He began his career as a live action editor and director upon his graduation from SCA in 1991. In 1994, he joined the Pixar Animation Studios team and has since played a variety of key creative roles in nearly every animated feature film produced by the studio. He started at Pixar as an editor on Toy Story and continued on to become the supervising film editor on A Bug’s Life. Unkrich made his feature film directorial debut in 1999 as co-director of Toy Story 2, which won the Golden Globe ® for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical. He also co-directed Monsters Inc., and the Academy Award ®-winning Finding Nemo.
Graduation will be held at the Shrine Auditorium on May 13th. For more information please see http://cinema.usc.edu/commencement/index.cfm.