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Gift From Roland Emmerich to Provide Equipment and Student Scholarships

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (April 16, 2004) - The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation has received a $100,000 gift from Hollywood blockbuster film director Roland Emmerich in direct support of the University's Academy for Creative Media (ACM). Emmerich's gift will help fund ACM's equipment needs and support student scholarships. Emmerich's pictures have cumulatively made over $1 billion at the box office. His line-up of box office hits include "Universal Soldier," "Stargate," "Independence Day," "Godzilla," and "The Patriot," and his next picture, "The Day After Tomorrow," is expected to be one of this summer's blockbusters.

"I am very grateful for Roland's support. As a well-respected and successful film director, Roland values endeavors that look beyond the present and take advantage of how technology is transforming entertainment and education," said Chris Lee, ACM's chairman and founder.

Emmerich was born in Stuttgart, Germany and worked in advertising before he began studying film in Munich in 1977. Starting with his earliest filmmaking projects, Emmerich demonstrated a preference for science-fiction and special effects. While participating in the director's program at film school in Munich, his student film, "The Noah's Ark Principle," went on to open the 1984 Berlin Film Festival. The feature became very successful, selling to more than 20 countries.

He later teamed up with American actor/producer Dean Devlin, to produce Emmerich's first Hollywood picture, Universal Soldier, after which the team produced Stargate. Emmerich, his sister (as producer), and Devlin worked together again on Independence Day. His most recent Hollywood blockbuster was The Patriot, with Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger.

"Private giving and gifts of a philanthropic nature are crucial to transforming the University of Hawaiʻi to embrace its destiny as an innovative, international center of higher learning," said Donna Vuchinich, acting president of the UH Foundation. "The Academy for Creative Media furthers this transformation and strengthens the university's tradition of outstanding Asia-Pacific scholarship."

The ACM is an interdisciplinary, inter-campus initiative to develop a comprehensive, world class creative media program focusing on Hawaiʻi, Asia and Pacific themes. The program will support students across all 10 University of Hawaiʻi campuses through the provision of computer and software equipment and internships, among other needs.

"In a global information, entertainment economy driving by a rising tide of affluence and the ever-widening availability of distribution systems, there is an exponential need for intellectual property and programming to fill those pipelines," comments Lee. "Hawaiʻi students have a logical and rightful place in the creation of this content, not just in Hollywood, but here in Hawaiʻi."

Lee founded ACM on the principle of innovation through collaboration utilizing the resources of the 10-campus UH system. The program is product-oriented and systematically involves students in creating original intellectual property for portfolio, research and exhibition purposes.

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The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. The mission of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is to unite donors' passions with the University of Hawaiʻi’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawaiʻi and our future generations www.uhfoundation.org.

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