April 11, 2003
Have you ever noticed that Tulane alums are everywhere in the entertainment industry? This was obvious at the recent Academy Awards when Miramax executive Meryl Poster, a Newcomb graduate, was thanked by one of the Oscar recipients for her role as executive producer of the film "Chicago."
Meryl is just the latest in a long list of our graduates who have made significant contributions to popular entertainment. Sanford Panitch, the production president of New Regency Productions ("L.A. Confidential," "JFK,") is also a Tulane alumnus, as is Scott Greenstein the former president of USA Films ("Traffic," "One Night at McCool's") and screen writer Jonathan Hensleigh ("Armageddon," "Die Hard").
Before he produced such films as "Field of Dreams," "Mystery Men" and "K-Pax," Lawrence Gordon was a Tulane student. So was agent David Lonner, a partner in Endeavor Agency, whose clients include Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Hollywood power couple Kevin Yorn, a major entertainment lawyer, and Julie Silverman-Yorn, whose clients have included Samuel L. Jackson, Dustin Hoffman and Minnie Driver, are also both Tulane graduates.
On a recent trip to Los Angeles I met with another one of our graduates, Cindy Cowan, whose company produced "Dr. T and the Women" and the upcoming "Scorched," starring Woody Harrelson and Alicia Silverstone. The late Bruce Paltrow, producer, director and screenwriter ("St.Elsewhere," "Duets," "The White Shadow") was another one of our own. He is also the father of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Tulane alumnus and director Jake Paltrow. Susannah Jeffers, legal counsel with Twentieth Century Fox Television, is another Tulane graduate, as is actress and model Paige Brooks ("Men in Black II").
Now I feel like an Oscar recipient myself, nervous that I might forget someone. But, I'd like to add that we are also very proud to count among our alumni actor/producer Paul Michael Glaser of "Starsky and Hutch" fame, actor Harold Sylvester ("Uncommon Valor," "An Officer and a Gentleman") Broadway actor Bryan Batt, actress/writer Rebecca McFarland ("Seinfeld," "Party of Five"), costume designer Steffani Lincecum and "Steel Magnolias" author Robert Harling.
Well, I hear the orchestra playing and the director is giving me the "wrap-it-up" sign so I better sign off. I just thought you'd be interested in learning of another way in which the graduates of Tulane are enriching the lives of us all. There must be something about this university and our location that breeds all this creativity and talent. For some lesser known but more important ways Tulane enriches lives, please visit the latest strategic plan update on our community outreach at http://www.tulane.edu/%7Estrplan/accomplishments.shtml.
This represents my most recent presentation to the University Senate regarding our accomplishments in the context of the university's ten-year plan.
Have a great weekend,
218 Gibson Hall, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5201 firstname.lastname@example.org