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Dick Clark’s Legacy With His Orange Family Shines Bright in Hollywood

Extraordinary gift allows University’s thriving entertainment program to empower the next generation of leaders.
Photo collage of alumni Dick Clark.

The late Dick Clark ’51 was well known for his successful ventures in the entertainment industry and an avid supporter of Syracuse University.

The late Dick Clark ’51 was a legend in the entertainment industry and a loyal supporter of Syracuse University—from his days hosting American Bandstand and ushering in the New Year on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve to building a mega-successful Los Angeles-based production company. Clark also remembered his student days on campus and generously supported the University, seeking to provide students with opportunities to achieve success in the entertainment business.

The Kari and Dick Clark Foundation has further extended that generosity with an extraordinary gift to the Forever Orange Campaign that will create new, influential career opportunities for students and significantly expand the University’s presence and impact in the entertainment world. “LA remains the center of the broadcast industry, and Dick always wanted to support young people hoping for a career in entertainment,” says his wife, Kari.

Syracuse University Los Angeles building.

The Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program’s new building is located on Lankershim Boulevard in the North Hollywood Arts District and features a wealth of space that provides new opportunities for classes, alumni gatherings and other activities.

On March 2, members of the University community gathered with the Clark family for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the new center for the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program (formerly known as the SULA Semester). The center vastly expands the program’s space and is located at 5250 Lankershim Blvd. in the North Hollywood (NoHo) Arts District that’s home to community theaters, an independent film house, acting and production studios, post-production houses and the Television Academy, which features a bust of Dick Clark. The 22,000-square-foot center includes state-of-the-art space for offices and classrooms, a studio and a student lounge. There’s a sound stage, a music space and a giant event space, which can be used for gatherings, game-watch events and other activities.

The career-oriented program provides unique opportunities for internships, where students gain hands-on experience and learn directly from industry professionals. Students also have the chance to network with some of the best leaders in the entertainment business through events, guest speakers, panelists, and one-on-one alumni mentoring. “Our new space is transformative in terms of the student experience,” says Anna Proulx, the College of Visual and Performing Arts founding director of the program.

Group of people posing at ribbon cutting for new academic building.

Among those in attendance at the March 2 ribbon-cutting ceremony and building dedication for the Syracuse University Dick Clark Los Angeles Program were (from left) Anna Proulx, founding director of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) LA Program; Robin Howard G’76, director of the Newhouse School’s LA Program; Newhouse Dean Mark Lodato; Cindy Clark ’86; RAC Clark; Vice Chancellor, Provost and Chief Academic Officer Gretchen Ritter; VPA Dean Michael Tick; John Sykes ’77, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; and Joan Adler, assistant vice president of regional programs in Los Angeles.

With the new space, the program looks to introduce more academic offerings as well, including ones for students in art and design, the School of Architecture and the College of Arts and Sciences. “The program’s expansion supports the University’s commitment to ensuring study away and study abroad experiences are more accessible for all undergraduates,” says Robin Howard G’76, director of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications’ LA program.

Person speaking to group of people.

Provost Gretchen Ritter (center) speaks at the dedication. The University’s celebration welcomed students, staff, faculty, alumni and others associated with the program, including members of Clark’s family.

The new space also creates opportunities for alumni to connect with the University and students and attend events. In addition, the space allows admissions counselors to host information sessions with students and their families, meetings with high school counselors and summer sessions that will introduce high school students to Syracuse programs. Dick Clark’s distinguished career is also highlighted, with a 24/7 video screen featuring clips that celebrate his legacy and introduce the next generation of students to his work.

Alumni Dick Clark standing and smiling.

Clark’s legacy at Syracuse University also includes the Dick Clark Studios at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Nearly four decades ago, Clark helped lay the groundwork for creating an Orange presence in the entertainment capital, welcoming a group of students to LA to meet him and visit his production studios. Since then, generations of students have benefited from Clark’s vision, and his family shared his legacy with the main campus as well, establishing the Dick Clark Studios at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2014 to provide top-notch facilities for training students in broadcast, television and film production.

Learn more about the Clark’s latest gift.

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Student working on music production project.

SULA Semester

The SULA Semester is a one-semester, career-oriented program that provides students with a unique opportunity to take entertainment industry-related academic courses while working part time as interns at a vast array of media companies

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Hall of Languages exterior.

Forever Orange: The Campaign for Syracuse University

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