Donation Strengthens Screenwriting Program

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Illustration by Kelsey Hill.
Illustration by Kelsey Hill.

UC Santa Cruz alumnus and Emmy Award-winning producer Ken Corday has donated to the arts division to strengthen the screenwriting program by establishing the Kenneth R. Corday Family Presidential Chair Endowment in Writing for Television & Film. The endowment will help fund more permanent support in the department and provide students with guest lectures from experts in the field.

“Any opportunities for students to increase their  exposure to screenwriting is terrific,” lecturer Natasha V. said. “It sounds like this chair will bring diverse perspectives, more specialized topics and various industry professionals to UCSC. This is something to celebrate.”

Natasha V., who has been teaching screenwriting at UCSC in the film and digital media department for 11 years, said she believes a stronger program will benefit the whole department.

Students interested in screenwriting at UCSC have the option to apply for a screenwriting course already offered at least once a quarter, but they must be declared a film and digital media major. Required instructor approval and a maximum of 20 students per class makes chances to enroll in the course slim.

Dominic DeHoratius, a fourth-year philosophy major, hopes to eventually study screenwriting at UCSC.

“My interest in screenplay writing stems from many theater classes I’ve taken both at my community college and here at UCSC,” DeHoratius said. “As a philosophy major, writing is just second nature. But it doesn’t allow me freedom like for theatre and arts.”

Despite the limited course opportunities, students like DeHoratius and third-year film and digital  media major Allegra Leedom have continued to pursue their passion.

“If you’re truly passionate about writing, I don’t think you’re going to stop just because of a lack of resources,” said Leedom, who’s currently enrolled in a screenwriting course. “You’re going to look for those resources on your own. You’re going to take initiative.”