April 13, 2007

Good Morning:

Hooray for Hollywood and for our English department for introducing a new creative writing class this semester taught by Tulane alumnus Sanford Panitch, president of Filmed Entertainment for New Regency Enterprises. At New Regency Sanford has supervised such films as "The Sentinel," "Man on Fire," “Guess Who," the "Big Momma’s House" series, “Unfaithful," "Don’t Say a Word," and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

Prior to joining New Regency, Sanford was executive vice president of production at 20th Century Fox, where he helped create the "Doctor Doolittle," franchise and oversaw such movies as "Entrapment," "Fight Club," "Office Space" and "Titantic." Before joining Fox, Sanford served as executive vice president at Arnold Kopelson Productions where he was instrumental in developing such films as "The Fugitive," "Outbreak," "Falling Down" and "Seven."

Sanford has donated his time, free of charge, to teach this course (including travel costs from LA to New Orleans each week) as a way to contribute to Tulane's renewal after Katrina. He has also brought in several of his Hollywood colleagues as guest speakers for the class, including Andrew Jarecki, director and producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Capturing the Friedmans," "Robert Harling," an accomplished screenwriter and playwright, whose works include "Steel Magnolias," "Soapdish," and "First-Wives Club," Simon Kinberg, a screenwriter whose credits include "X-Men" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," and Peter Hyams, director of "Running Scared" and "End of Days."

Speaking of the movies, I had a kind of "Freaky Friday" experience myself yesterday as I switched places with student April Lyn Pitts. I attended April’s psychology class, while she attended my meetings with a board member, the staff advisory council and student leaders. She even helped me with this Tulane Talk. See her message below. By the way, the class lecture was on the topic of psychological disorders. The professor was excellent. I dream of being a student again!

April participated in this switch because she was a winner in the Administrative Super Swap, a fundraiser benefiting Café Reconcile. I was a winner because there was no test in her psychology class that day. She was fortunate because she did not have to deal with any really thorny issues.


P.S. To all of my peers and fellow classmates: This has been a wonderful experience for everyone, even Dr. Cowen. This message has been fully approved by me. Have a great weekend!

April Lyn Pitts

Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638