CELIA (Collaborative Education, Leadership, and Innovation in the Arts)

Tom Hanks

Recognition Year: 

Academy Award-winning actor, producer, and director Tom Hanks, who starred in blockbuster films such as "Forrest Gump," "Apollo 13" and "Saving Private Ryan," has a long-running love affair with Wright State University. Since taking the stage at Wright State in 1978 as a young Shakespearean actor, he has given a glowing endorsement of Wright State's theatre and the arts programs, started a scholarship fund at the school, and co-chaired Rise.Shine., the university's $150 million fundraising campaign that concluded in 2017.

In 2016, Hanks dedicated the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures at Wright State, saying he hopes the center inspires students to do the hard work necessary to launch film careers. "Wright State is training the artists of tomorrow. I know because I've worked with some of Wright State's alumni, and they're among the best in their fields," Hanks said in a 2011 video. "Wright State not only has one of the most outstanding arts programs in Ohio, but one of the best in the entire nation."


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