Baylor University Announces $2 Million Gift to Launch Baylor in Los Angeles Program

  • Full-Size Image: FDM Film Shoot
    Baylor students work with Film & Digital Media professors during a summer feature film shoot in Waco in 2018. The film, "Seven Short Films About (Our) Marriage," is now streaming on multiple platforms, including Amazon, AppleTV and and more. (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)
  • Full-Size Image: FDM Film Shoot2
    (L to R) - Filmmaker and Baylor Film & Digital Media chair/professor Chris Hansen and then-graduate student Aaron Youngblood during a summer feature film shoot in Waco in 2018. (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)
Oct. 21, 2021

Alumnus’ gift to Department of Film and Digital Media will help launch residential learning program

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (Oct. 21, 2021) – Baylor University today announced a $2 million gift from Baylor alumnus Matthew B. Lindner (B.A. ’12) of Cincinnati, Ohio, to support the Department of Film and Digital Media (FDM). The Lindner Endowment for Film and Digital Media will support the Baylor in L.A. program, a residential learning opportunity in Los Angeles for FDM students – currently in early planning stages – that will provide internship and experiential learning opportunities for program participants.

“We celebrate the generous support of the Lindner family, and we are grateful for alumni like Matthew who invest in the areas of Baylor where faculty and academic programs invested in them,” said President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “As an alumnus who has achieved success with his career, Matthew’s support further enhances the prestige of our Department of Film and Digital Media, and his gift, in turn, will have a transformational influence upon the opportunities of our students and the trajectories of their careers in this chosen field. We are grateful for his generosity and for his commitment to this program.”

The Lindner Endowment for Film and Digital Media will create permanent support for the Department of Film and Digital Media in developing and implementing the Baylor in L.A. program. The Los Angeles-based program will offer a highly selective and competitive residential learning opportunity for students who desire a career in film and digital media in California.

The Lindner Endowment is the second such fund established to support FDM’s efforts on the West Coast. In 2019, Baylor alumna Kathy Tinius, Ed.D. (B.A. ’70) and her husband, Don, established the Tinius Family Endowed Fund in Film and Digital Media for Baylor in L.A. to help advance institutional planning for the program and to encourage other donors in giving to the project, efforts which were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Tinius, a long-time supporter of FDM as well as many other Baylor programs, passed away in July.

The Baylor in L.A. program will be an immersive educational experience that will bridge the gap between the academic and professional areas of the industry, providing students with the internship experiences and industry connections that will help advance their careers after graduation. The purpose of the Lindner Endowment is to support the program through resourcing personnel costs, providing scholarships to eligible students, funding student and faculty travel and supporting other needs and costs associate with the program.

“The Department of Film and Digital Media owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Matthew Lindner,” said Chris Hansen, M.A., M.F.A., professor and chair of the department. “It shows his real belief in the value of a Baylor education in film and digital media that he would once again step up with huge gift to our program. It hasn’t been a secret that we have long wanted to expand our presence to L.A. as we seek to provide opportunities for our students to establish themselves in the film and television industries there, and Mr. Lindner’s gift gives us the opportunity to do that in a way that allows all students equal access to internships and opportunities. Our theme for this program is the word ‘access’ because we believe it’s critical that students from all walks of life have these opportunities, and this gift makes that possible.”

This gift, which supports the Give Light campaign, is not the first from Matthew Lindner. In 2015, Matthew and his father, Carl H. Lindner III, also of Cincinnati, established the $2 million Matthew B. Lindner Endowment for Excellence in Film and Digital Media, which allowed the program to become a freestanding department within Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. The fund also supports the department by providing resources to create activities and guest speaker opportunities that reinforce classroom instruction through lectures, special mentoring sessions and seed funding for special departmental projects.

One such example is the funding of feature-length films and short films under the direction of FDM faculty and in collaboration with industry professionals, which provide students with experience in every aspect of filmmaking from start to finish, creating resume-building opportunities and exposure to all areas of film production. The department created the feature-length film, Seven Short Films About (Our) Marriage, written and directed by Hansen and available on Amazon, AppleTV and other streaming platforms, and a short film in post-production by FDM and Baylor theatre lecturer Sam Henderson, B.F.A. ’05, M.F.A.

After completing his degree at Baylor, Matthew Lindner earned an M.F.A. from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, California. He is currently a producer and investor in the independent film industry. He also has served as an independent contractor for the Cincinnati Film Commission.

The Baylor in L.A. program will capitalize on long-standing relationships and ties with Baylor alumni and collaborators in the Los Angeles region, Hansen said. Designed to be a summer program that allows students to make the transition to the Los Angeles area, the Baylor in L.A. program will provide tailored courses within the FDM major paired with a relevant summer internship. The program will be modeled after the existing Baylor in New York program, which provides students with a semester-long, immersive study program that pairs in-class learning with internship opportunities and independent study to create experiential learning opportunities for the program’s students.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT THE COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments in the sciences, humanities, fine arts and social sciences, as well as 10 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit baylor.edu/artsandsciences.

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