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Pepperdine University Announces Launch of the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture

Pepperdine University is proud to announce the formation and launch of the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture, which aims to cultivate students into competitive professionals and entrepreneurs for the ever-changing entertainment and media industries. The institute will support and enhance current programs while anticipating and envisioning new and innovative media initiatives.

Capitalizing on Pepperdine’s strategic location, vast network, and energizing mission, the institute will serve as a catalyst for cultivating student creativity, teaching emerging industry practices and new technologies, connecting with industry leaders, and pursuing creative entrepreneurship. The institute seeks to elevate the wide range of entertainment and media courses at the undergraduate and graduate level that have been offered at Pepperdine University for many years.

“We are excited to bring our students and the greater community an institute that will give them an advantage in a competitive industry marketplace while remaining uniquely Pepperdine,” said Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton. “The institute will give students access to groundbreaking initiatives and valuable insight from experienced industry professionals, including accomplished alumni, that will guide them to successful, meaningful, and entrepreneurial careers.”

The institute will bring the creative, legal, and business aspects of entertainment and media education at Pepperdine to a new level by building on the successes of the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture achieved under the leadership of Craig Detweiler.

“More than 1,100 Pepperdine students currently major in some form of media or entertainment at the University. Over 250 students serve as interns for leading media companies each year, with more than 75 percent offered jobs by their internship sponsors, an exceptional placement rate,” said Detweiler, who will now serve as creative director of the institute.

Executive director John Mooney, associate professor of information systems and technology management at the Graziadio School of Business and Management, will lead the institute in facilitating access to cross-disciplinary courses in creative writing, film studies, media production, communications, entertainment and sports law, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Elevating the successes of Seaver College, the School of Law, and the Graziadio School will be academic co-directors Nelson Granados, Leslie Kreiner, Michael Smith, Maureen Weston, and assistant director Kathryn Linehan.

“Our vision is to prepare our graduates for successful roles as creative artists, managers, or lawyers within the rapidly transforming arenas of entertainment and media, including interactive gaming, music, and social media,” said Mooney. “In addition, the institute will nurture the development of new learning modules that will be practice-based, immersive, and interdisciplinary to give graduates the knowledge, experience, and confidence they need to be impactful contributors, leaders, or creative entrepreneurs.”

The development of the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture is the result of a two-year study by a committee of leading educators and administrators from across Pepperdine University. Primary objectives of the committee included determining the optimal structure for entertainment and media-related programs and initiatives at the University, and the support needed to maximize the impact of these programs within the University and externally. Insights into the educational essentials crucial for meeting industry needs were obtained from an advisory board of leading media industry executives. Among these advisors were David Weil, executive vice president and general counsel business and legal affairs of Starz; Victor Kaufman, vice chair of InterActiveCorp; and Dan Lin, founder and CEO of Lin Pictures, and producer of such films as The Lego Movie (2014), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011), Sherlock Holmes (2009), and Terminator Salvation (2009).

About the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture

The Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine will prepare students for successful careers in today’s changing media industry. The Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture will not only support and enhance current programs and initiatives, but will also anticipate and envision new media initiatives. The institute continually strives to be a valued resource within the University for forward-thinking students, endeavors, and projects. For more information, visit the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture website.