Gift from actor Morgan Woodward brings Film Studies Program into sharper focus
The “Man with No Eyes” is doing his part to ensure a bright future for UT Arlington film students. Morgan Woodward, the actor best known for his portrayal of the chain-gang guard behind the mirrored shades in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, has established a $500,000 endowed professorship for the University’s Film Studies Program.
Woodward, 84, graduated from North Texas Agricultural College (now UT Arlington) in 1948 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1969. He frequently portrayed villains during an acting career that spanned more than 250 movies and TV shows, including Logan’s Run and Gunsmoke.
“Mr. Woodward indicated a strong desire to give back to his alma mater and was prompted to make this generous gift now in order to take advantage of the Maverick Match program, which will double the impact of his gift,” said Jim Lewis, UT Arlington’s vice president for development.
Woodward has followed the University’s growth and the work produced through the Film Studies Program, which is part of the Department of Art and Art History in the College of Liberal Arts.
“I wanted to pass on my love for acting and film with UT Arlington students by establishing the endowment to assist in recruiting of outstanding professors in the field of film, video, and screenwriting,” he says of his $250,000 gift.
Professor Andy Anderson, founder of the film program, says the endowment is timely. The program has three full-time faculty members but needs at least five with the recent addition of a Master of Fine Arts degree.
“It’s a fantastic endorsement of our 35 years of great work on a shoestring budget,” Anderson says. “It’s all the more important because Mr. Woodward is an acclaimed actor and knows what quality film work is.”