Thinking Inside the Box
The new Stark Center features:
The centrally located facility continues a strong history of support for Film Studies at Conn by the Stark Foundation. While Film Studies was first introduced as a minor in 1989, a $300,000 grant from the Stark Foundation in 2002 allowed the College to develop a film studies major integrating film theory, criticism and production and providing students with a sophisticated understanding of mediated imagery as it relates to our increasingly image-saturated culture. Additional grants from the Stark Foundation totaling more than $600,000 have supported the Stark Distinguished Guest Residency in Film Studies, which brings leading scholars and filmmakers to campus for intensive engagement with students.
“As one of the taglines of the program states: Studying film at Conn is like film school, but better, because it is where a critical theoretical lens, interdisciplinary engagement, and larger questions of self and society meet first-rate filmmaking opportunities,” Dean of the Faculty Danielle Egan told the audience of students, faculty, staff, trustees and friends of the College gathered at the ribbon cutting and dedication event.
“The new Stark Center for the Moving Image provides our students something we could not have imagined when the program began 21 years ago: state-of-the-art production and viewing spaces where students can think, create and critique their work. It will change our students’ thinking, analyzing and producing … It will change their understanding of Film Studies in powerful, powerful ways.”
Allison Gorsuch Corrigan ’03 and her mother, Wendy Stark Morrissey P’03, who serve as directors of the Stark Foundation and have been instrumental in the Foundation’s support of the College, were guests of honor at the opening celebration. They were given the honors of cutting the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the new facility and were presented with a framed plaque commemorating the dedication.
The event also included remarks by Board of Trustees Chair Debo Adegbile ’91, Morin and Taylor Austin ’24, a film studies major and chair of the Film Studies Department Student Advisory Board. Following the ribbon cutting, guests were invited to tour the center and attend “Respecting the Audience,” a spotlight discussion between Morin and screenwriter, television producer and emeritus trustee Kevin Wade ’76.
During her remarks, Austin described how she and her fellow film studies students are already using the Stark Center to create, innovate and inspire.
“My peers and I can feel that this space is designed for us and for the collaborative nature of the work that we do in all of our courses,” Austin said. “Our faculty and staff have a keen understanding of what students want and need out of a film studies hub, and have executed this vision perfectly. I’m so grateful that so many students will get to enjoy the space for years to come.”