Tag: Education

EDUCATION: For Future Filmmakers, A List of the Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Around the World

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(Image via philebrity.com)

Where would black cinema be in the 21st century without the films of NYU’s Spike Lee (“Do The Right Thing”, “School Daze”) and Dee Rees (“Pariah”, “Bessie”), or USC’s John Singleton (“Boyz N The Hood”, “Poetic Justice”) and Rick Fukiyama (“The Wood”, “Dope”), to name a few famous African-American film school graduates?  From New York to New South Wales, the list of film schools below earn accolades for their filmmaking, television and animation programs, and may interest African-American filmmakers of the future:

U.S. PROGRAMS:

American Film Institute
Los Angeles
AFI’s Conservatory is training 260 Fellows that are all, per the school, “worthy to watch.” The school’s participants create between four and 10 movies during the two-year program, and 37 alumni have received Oscar nominations in the past decade alone. An additional 118 have participated in award-winning projects ranging from “Boyhood” to “Mad Men.”

Art Center College of Design
Pasadena, Calif
The venerable private college’s film and graduate broadcast program continues to establish itself as an influential entity through its immersive curriculum and close working relationships between students and faculty. Its list of celebrated alumni includes director Zack Snyder and conceptual designers Ralph McQuarrie (“Star Wars”) and Syd Mead (“Blade Runner”).

Boston U. Department Film & Television, College of Communication
Boston
2015 saw the establishment of a one-year MFA program, as well as the Spelling Scholarship, named for producer Aaron Spelling, that will benefit up to 10 students. Nora Grossman is the latest BU alum to receive an Oscar nomination with her best picture nom for producing “The Imitation Game.”

California Institute of the Arts
Valencia
Generations of top animators and live-action filmmakers have benefited from CalArts’ diverse educational spectrum. Film/Video alum have won nine Oscars for animated film between 2003 and 2015, while domestic and international box office grosses from animated features helmed by alum directors rose to more than $31 billion.

California State U. Northridge, Department of Cinema and Television Arts
Northridge
CSUN’s Film Production alum have amassed an array of laurels from the screen industry, including awards from the Cannes Film Festival, DGA and Television Arts and Sciences Academy. The TV production program, too, has prepared students to work on series ranging from “The Amazing Race” to “Law & Order: SVU.”

Chapman U., Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Orange, Calif.
Chapman’s Dodge College continues to provide both production and business-oriented culture to students interested in all facets of film, media and digital arts. Its production company, Chapman Filmed Entertainment, saw its first theatrical release, “The Barber,” open in theaters nationwide.

Colorado Film School
Denver
Colorado Film School hosts just 500 students, but produces more than 1,000 films yearly at its facility in Denver. It’s also one of the few institutions to offer a fully accredited university BFA professional training degree in production, and has partnered with ICM and top advertising agencies to offer internships.

Columbia U. School of the Arts
New York
An impressive array of film and television figures have received training from SoA’s MFA programs, which include visual arts, theater, film studies, writing and sound arts. Among its acclaimed alumni are directors Kathryn Bigelow, Nicole Holofcener and James Mangold, while past faculty includes producers Barbara De Fina and James Schamus.

Columbia College Chicago
Chicago
Practice and theory are emphasized at Columbia College Chicago’s Cinema Art + Science program, which offers nearly 200 specialized courses – the most comprehensive curriculum of any American film school. Students can also take advantage of its Semester in L.A., the only such program situated on a Hollywood studio lot.

DePaul U.
Chicago
The university’s School of Cinema and Interactive Media offers programs on every aspect of filmmaking, from directing to post-production. Students can take advantage of its exceptional digital media production equipment, and gain practical experience through its partnership with Cinespace Chicago, the largest film studio in the Midwest.

Emerson College Visual & Media Arts School
Boston
The Boston-based communications school further established itself as a direct conduit to the entertainment industry with its state-of-the-art Emerson Los Angeles building on Sunset Boulevard, which offers undergraduate, post-graduate and professional studies, as well as crucial internship opportunities. Alumni include Norman Lear and former MTV Networks president Doug Herzog.

Florida State U., College of Motion Picture Arts
Tallahassee
The film school’s selective admittance policy has paid off handsomely for FSU. Film school participants have won more Student Oscars and College Television awards in a single year than any other school — and the DGA recognized its “distinguished contribution to American culture through the world of film and television.”

Ithaca College, Roy H. Park School of Communications
Ithaca, N.Y.
Park School students are treated as industry professionals through close interaction with alumni and a full range of production scenarios through the student-run Studio, which allows them to develop, fund and distribute their own content. Student films have screened at or been honored by the American Society of Cinematographers, among others.

Loyola Marymount U., School of Film and Television
Los Angeles
LMU’s School of Film and Television is flush with impressive numbers, from the 400 partner companies who have hired alumni, including Disney, Sony and NBCUniversal, to the $1 million contributed to the local economy from 792 student productions — 41 of which were shot on the Red One digital camera.

New York U. Tisch School of the Arts
New York
The Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television offers training to undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of cinematic storytelling media, from dramatic writing and interactive telecommunications to photography and imaging. Its prestigious roster of alumni includes Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Joel Coen and Ang Lee.

Northwestern U., School of Communication
Evanston, Ill.
Northwestern’s multidisciplinary arts education has produced major figures in nearly every aspect of film and television production, from three-time Oscar-nominated writer John Logan and Emmy-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus to “Arrow” and “Flash” producer Greg Berlanti and such acclaimed producers and executives as Sherry Lansing, Jason Winer and Ken Kamins.

Pratt Institute
New York
The Brooklyn-based arts college has significantly increased its presence by relocating into a 17,000-sq.ft. space in Clinton Hill that will add 150 students to its 50-person film/video department. New additions can take advantage of Pratt’s expansive media curriculum, as well as the abundant internship opportunities inherent to New York City.

Relativity School
Los Angeles
The academic training arm of Relativity Media is a throwback to the studio system’s finishing schools, but with a significant difference: it benefits from both direct funding from the studio as well as an active production facility that offers students access to soundstages and production facilities on its 20-acre campus.

Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota, Fla.
The private, non-profit college has become a talent pool for studios seeking up-and-coming computer animators and designers. Ringling alumni captured Oscars for both animated feature (“Big Hero 6”) and short (“Feast”) at the 2015 ceremony, while students have won 11 of the past 13 student Academy Awards.

Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, RI
A diverse array of film and television talent, from Seth MacFarlane to Gus Van Sant, has graduated from RISD’s film/video/animation program, which is the largest in the state. Students study all three departmental disciplines in their sophomore year, which alumni have credited with expanding their visual and storytelling skills.

Sarah Lawrence College
Yonkers, N.Y.
Intimate seminar and workshop environments, an expansive and comprehensive program that incorporates screenwriting and media arts, and one-on-one mentorship with faculty advisors are among the high points of Sarah Lawrence’s film program. Notable graduates include J.J. Abrams, Peter Gould (“Better Call Saul”), Joan Micklin Silver and producer Amy Robinson.

Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah, Ga.
Opportunities for prospective film and television students at SCAD are plentiful. The school features state-of-the-art technology and facilities, including a 60,000-sq.-ft. Digital Media Center and Savannah Film Studios; the annual Savannah Film Festival, which is the largest university film festival in America; and workshops and presentations with television professionals at TVfest.

Stanford U.
Palo Alto, Calif.
The lauded university’s film and media studies program is anchored in the visual arts. True to its reputation for selectivity, the MFA in documentary film and video admits only eight students per year, preaching artistic expression, aesthetics and social awareness as well as endeavors into new media.

Syracuse U., College of Visual and Performing Arts
Syracuse, N.Y.
Budding filmmakers in animation at Syracuse can look to celebrated alumni for inspiration, including directors Chris Renaud (“Despicable Me”) and Henry Selick (“Coraline”). The program’s ties with the Syracuse Intl. Film Festival open doors for student involvement.

UCLA, School of Theater, Film and Television
Los Angeles
Consistently considered one of the world’s best program’s, UCLA’s film program has hatched a platoon of filmmaking legends, from Francis Ford Coppola to documentarian Alex Gibney. Jeff Skoll’s recent gift of $10 million for the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment refocuses the school on promoting social change through entertainment.

U. of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts
Los Angeles
This beacon of excellence in filmmaking education continues to grow and expand. In Aug. 2013, construction began on the IMAX lab/theater space, which features two full-size IMAX projectors. This march, USC was voted best game design school in the country.

U. of Texas at Austin, Moody College of Communication
Austin
Moody College’s prestigious department of Radio-Television-Film offers a curriculum that focuses on the intersection of production, screenwriting and media studies. Home to the country’s first comprehensive 3-D production program, nearby festivals like SXSW provide inspiration and opportunity for both students and alumni.

Vanderbilt U.
Nashville, Tenn.
Located in the country’s homegrown arts mecca, students of the Nashville school’s Cinema and Media Arts program can hone in on a smorgasbord of topics like soundtracks, digital cinematography or 16mm shooting. The Vandy Meets Hollywood spring break program transports students to L.A. for studio visits and alumni networking.

Wesleyan U.
Middletown, Conn.
A leader in undergraduate film studies since the 1970s, the recent establishment of Wesleyan’s College of Film and the Moving Image has only expanded the umbrella program, which includes Wesleyan’s department of film studies, its cinema archives and the student-run film series. In April, the College of Film and the Moving Image announced a $2 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Yale U.
New Haven, Conn.
Offering both undergrad and graduate degrees, Ivy Leaguers at Yale are trained in film history, theory, criticism and production. Students can also take advanced screenwriting courses, use resources at the university’s Digital Media Center for the Arts and study abroad at Prague’s famed Famu.

Continue reading “EDUCATION: For Future Filmmakers, A List of the Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Around the World”

Disney Pledges $1 Million to United Negro College Fund

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 12.19.10 PMThe Walt Disney Company recently announced a $1 million commitment to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

The UNCF, one of the leading minority scholarship organizations, will use the money to provide scholarships to outstanding African American students in underserved communities across the country, while expanding educational and career resources for them.  The UNCF traditionally serves low-income youth who are the first in their families to go to college, with more than 50 percent coming from families whose incomes are less than $30,000 per year.

The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars will be selected based on a competitive application process administered by UNCF. To be considered, applicants must be enrolled full-time at a four-year college or university, demonstrate financial need, have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, and have an interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.

The application process opens March 16 and closes May 15. Preference will be given to students attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to ensure 50% of each group are derived from these schools.

“UNCF works to ensure our future leaders have the opportunity to obtain the college degrees they need, and our nation needs them to have,” UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax said. “The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program expands their academic training into practical experiences, to create a diverse pipeline of college educated professionals poised to assume fulfilling careers in the entertainment industry. The investment we are making in better futures for them now will pay dividends in years to come when they become our next generation of leaders.”

article by Joe Otterson via thewrap.com

Howard University To Pay Students Who Graduate On Time

Howard University

Seniors gearing up for graduation at Howard University can breathe a little easier now; the Mecca is implementing a new practice that will surely lower some of those Sallie Mae student loans.

Starting next year, the university will cover 50 percent of a student’s final semester if they graduate early or on time. Now there’s some incentive to fast-track your matriculation. Students pay about $11,900 per semester — that leaves students who graduate on time with an extra $6,000 floating around. And as Derek Kindle, Howard’s executive director of student financial services points out, the program actually saves students more money, since they won’t be spending dollars on additional semesters.

According to CNN Money, about 46 percent of Howard University students graduate in four years. The national average is 39 percent.

That means close to half of students graduating from the university will be able to participate in the program. As CNN points out, however, the famous school isn’t the first to offer such a program.

Howard’s tuition rebate program is “relatively uncommon,” said Robert Kelchen, an education professor at Seton Hall University.

At public colleges in Texas, students earn a $1,000 rebate if they finish on time. And some schools, such as Eastern Illinois University, offer a guaranteed tuition rate for four years. After that, the cost for any additional credits would go up.

But Howard is adding some icing to the cake — the university will freeze tuition next year, sticking with the $22,737 education price tag.

article by Christina Coleman via theurbandaily.com

90-Year-Old Kenyan Woman Priscilla Sitienei Goes To School, Learns To Read And Write Alongside Great-Great-Grandkids

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A 90-year-old woman is going to school to learn skills that she never had the opportunity to acquire when she was younger.

Priscilla Sitienei has been attending Leaders Vision Preparatory School in her village of Ndalat, Kenya, for the past five years according to BBC News. Sitienei didn’t have the chance to learn how to read and write, but is finally doing so now.

The 90-year-old, who goes to school with six of great-great-grandchildren, says she has some big goals.

I’d like to be able to read the Bible,” Sitienei, whose classmates are between the ages of 11 and 14, told BBC News. “I also want to inspire children to get an education.”

Sitienei’s school day is just like any other student’s at the prep school, BBC News reported. She wears the school uniform to classes, and takes math, English, physical education, dance, drama and singing. She also lives in one of the campus dormitories, where she rooms with one of her great-great-grandchildren.

Her commitment to learning has made her a role model for the students.

Gogo has been a blessing to this school, she has been a motivator to all the pupils,” David Kinyanjui, the school’s principal, told BBC News, using Sitinei’s nickname which means “grandmother” in the local Kalenjin language. “She is loved by every pupil, they all want to learn and play with her.”

The 90-year-old, who served as a midwife in her village for several decades, wants her story to spur others to take another chance at getting an education.

Continue reading “90-Year-Old Kenyan Woman Priscilla Sitienei Goes To School, Learns To Read And Write Alongside Great-Great-Grandkids”

UCLA Faculty Approves Diversity Class Requirement for Incoming Students in 2015

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The faculty of UCLA’s largest academic unit voted by a narrow margin to require future undergraduates to take a course on ethnic, cultural, religious or gender diversity. The move came after three previous efforts had failed.

Officials announced Friday that the faculty of the UCLA College of Letters and Science voted 332 to 303, with 24 blank ballots, to start the requirement for incoming freshmen in fall 2015 and new transfer students in 2017.

Two other faculty and administrative review panels still must approve the requirement before it can go into effect, but the recent college-wide vote was considered the most important step in a much-debated matter on the Westwood campus.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block was a strong proponent of such diversity classes, saying they would help prepare students to live and work in a multi-cultural society. Most other UC campuses and the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture already require such courses. The College of Letters and Science enrolls about 85% of UCLA’s undergraduates.

Opponents said students were overburdened with other requirements, particularly in the sciences, and said the budget-strapped university could not afford extra classes. Additional questions were raised about whether these classes improve ethnic relations and whether they typically skew left politically.

Similar proposals were rejected by the faculty three times in the last two decades. In 2012, the measure lost 224-175 in a vote that attracted only about 30% of potential ballots. More than 46% of the college faculty cast the online ballots in the current weeklong vote after much lobbying and student activism, officials said.

In a statement released Friday, Block said he was pleased by the faculty approval.

“A diversity-related course requirement for UCLA College undergraduates is an important component of our commitment to expose students to beliefs and backgrounds other than their own,” he said.

The courses are expected to  be offered by many academic departments, ranging from sociology to statistics, and students will be required to choose one for an academic quarter.

M. Belinda Tucker, UCLA psychiatry and biobehavioral professor who was a co-chair of the diversity initiative, said the requirement will be more broadly defined than at some other campuses because it will include courses on international topics, not just U.S. issues.

She noted that the courses will not make it harder to graduate since students can devote one of their electives to it and fulfill it with courses that also meet other requirements for their major or degree.

“I think it’s going to benefit the students and benefit the campus as a whole,” Tucker said.

article by Larry Gordon via latimes.com

EDUCATION: Seven Creative Ways to Find Cash for College

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(Photo via THINKSTOCK) 

With college tuition skyrocketing, pursuing your educational dreams may seem out of reach. The average student carries nearly $29,000 in student-loan debt. However, you don’t have to be part of this statistic. Each year companies and organizations give away millions of dollars in scholarships to deserving students.

Whether you apply for a $1,000 or $20,000 scholarship, invest your time and talent in showing judges how your education will benefit society. If you’re not willing to help others, why should someone assist you with your college expenses? So make sure you highlight your community service.

Ramp up your search and earn some cash. Here are seven creative ways to find money for college:

1. Social media. If you’re already scrolling through your tweets, use Twitter to locate scholarships. Search using hashtags like #scholarships#college and #financialaid. To stay up-to-date on the latest opportunities, follow @prepforcollege and @volunTEENnation. You could also start a Facebook group dedicated to finding free money for school.

2. Crowdfunding. Last year a Boston University student raised more than $8,000 to help pay for her tuition fees through crowdfunding. Take advantage of your online presence. Enlist your family and friends to spread the word. When you ask for money, don’t be shy; treat people’s donations as an investment in your future. Start your campaign today with one of these sites: ScholarMatchGoFundMe or YouCaring.com.

3. Volunteering. Giving back feels good, and it can also open many unexpected doors. By serving your community, you make your scholarship application more enticing to the judges, who will want to learn more about you. Help out at your nearest Boys & Girls Club or pick up litter at the public park on Saturdays. Plus, if you enroll in AmeriCorps, a national service program, you may become eligible to receive an education award to pay your college costs. Community service is a win-win for everyone.

4. Local sources. Narrow down the competition by applying for scholarships in your area. One highlyuntapped resource is the local newspaper. If you’re in a rush and can’t get a physical copy, read the online version. Scholarship announcements may appear in church bulletins or even classified ads. You also can attend nearby Meetups to ask about potential opportunities.

5. Affinity groups. Free money exists for folks who belong to particular groups. What separates you from the crowd? Are you a single parent, a vegetarian or a twin? Think about all the characteristics that make you different. Your unique quality could earn you free money. Check out this list of unusual scholarships.

6. Arts and crafts. Some scholarship applications may require an essay. But if essay writing is not your forte, that’s OK. Look for scholarships that allow you to express your creativity. From drawing to graphic designing, you can rack up funds with your original artwork. Enter the Create-a-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest or Duck Tape’s Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest (this year’s winning couple won $10,000 each). Your artistic talent can help you achieve your college goals.

7. Create your own scholarship. Yes, this may sound crazy, but show your initiative! Research and contact small businesses that don’t currently offer scholarships. Tell them about your educational aspirations and how a scholarship could be a great public relations campaign for their business. By marketing your gifts and showing sincerity, you may find that a company awards you its first official scholarship.

Researching and applying for scholarships can be a tedious process. However, the rewards outweigh the work. With commitment and time, you don’t have to carry the student-loan burden.

article by Shayla R. Price via theroot.com

Toni Morrison’s Papers To Be Housed At Princeton University

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — The papers of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison are now part of the permanent library collection of Princeton University.  Princeton made the announcement Friday, shortly before the 83-year-old Morrison took part in a forum at the school where she served on the faculty for 17 years.

The renowned author’s papers contain about 180 linear feet of research materials documenting her life, work and writing methods. They include manuscripts, drafts and proofs of many of Morrison’s novels. Materials for her children’s literature, lyrics, lectures, correspondence and more are also part of the collection.

Additional manuscripts and papers will be added over time, beginning with the manuscript of Morrison’s next novel, which is expected to be published in the spring.

Morrison, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “Beloved” in 1988, came to Princeton in 1989 and was a member of the university’s creative writing program until she retired in 2006. In 1994, she founded the Princeton Atelier, bringing together undergraduate students in interdisciplinary collaborations with acclaimed artists and performers.

“Toni Morrison’s place among the giants of American literature is firmly entrenched, and I am overjoyed that we are adding her papers to the Princeton University Library’s collections,” Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber said. “We at Princeton are fortunate that (Morrison) brought her brilliant talents as a writer and teacher to our campus 25 years ago, and we are deeply honored to house her papers and to help preserve her inspiring legacy.”

Morrison received an honorary doctorate during the school’s 2013 commencement.

article by via blackamericaweb.com

Edouard E. Plummer Guides Young Scholars in Harlem Through Wadleigh Scholars Program for over 50 Years

Edouard E. Plummer (CreditDavid Gonzalez/The New York Times)

Edouard E. Plummer works out of a room inside a Harlem public school that would be spacious — if it were a storage closet. Still, he has found a way to pack its shelves and cover its walls with a growing testament to a half-century of achievements that rival those of headmasters at the swankiest prep schools.

He would know; he’s friends with a lot of them. Since 1964, he has taken promising poor and minority children and, in one intense year, given them the academic and social tools to get into — and thrive at — the nation’s leading schools and beyond.

“This one went to Lawrenceville, then Yale,” Mr. Plummer said, pointing a worn yardstick to old news clippings and fliers on the wall. “This one, Peddie. Hotchkiss, St. Paul’s. This one went to Harvard undergrad and Harvard Law. This one’s a doctor. He ran for Congress.”

His smile betrayed his satisfaction. His words, however, underscored that despite getting more than 500 young people into 108 different boarding and preparatory schools though the Wadleigh Scholars Program, more needed to be done.

When he first set out on his mission, memories of segregation were fresh in his mind. He had attended West Virginia State University and, in 1949, applied to the Foreign Service. Despite having done well in history, German and biology, he was rejected.  “They said, ‘Thank you, but we have nothing to offer you,’ ” he recalled. “You know why they did that. It was the color of my skin.”

Continue reading “Edouard E. Plummer Guides Young Scholars in Harlem Through Wadleigh Scholars Program for over 50 Years”

Octavia Spencer, Aloe Blacc Help Raise $1.5M for City Year Schools Program

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(Pictured: Nolan A. Sotillo and Octavia Spencer with a City Year AmeriCorps member; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

According to Variety.com, more than 1,400 guests at the 4th Annual Spring Break: Destination Education fundraiser held at Sony Studios on Saturday helped raised $1.5 million.  The money benefits City Year, an organization that strives to keep kids in high school until they graduate.

“I love the idea of kids helping kids and these young ambassadors are saying, ‘Hey, look I’ve been through it, I made it through it, you can, too,’” said Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer, who is involved with the program. “I think it is a tragedy the number of kids that don’t make it to graduation.”

Spencer said she has visited some of the 22 schools that the program reaches in Los Angeles and loves the work they’re doing. “Education unlocks the keys to all of life’s doors. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be of a name, you just have to have that foundation. It’s all about giving kids that foundation,” she said.

The packed event featured games for kids and adults, including an E! News booth contest trying to win the opportunity to introduce musical guest Aloe Blacc who performed later in the evening.

Others showing their support included: Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt, Diego Boneta, Jason Bateman, Jenna Elfman, Minnie Driver, Sean Hayes, Timothy Olyphant and Usher.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

Pharrell & Ellen Surprise Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Students with $50K

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Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences (DAAS) students have a lot to be happy about today. In addition to dazzling web viewers with their now-viral rendition of Pharrell’s hit single, the kids got a huge gift from Ellen Degeneres today: $50,000!

According to DAAS CEO Maurice G. Morton, 80 percent of the schools’ students live at or below the poverty line, and 98 percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch. While many schools have shuttered their arts programs, DAAS uses music and art to ensure their students stay engaged and motivated to learn.

Like many inner-city schools, DAAS is strapped for cash. The school has been attempting to raise money to help the choir get to Disneyworld for a performance, but Ellen intervened, giving DAAS a $50,000 check courtesy of Shutterfly.

After hearing the news, DAAS students were, well, extremely happy. They even performed their too-cute version of the song, bringing Pharrell Williams to tears.  To see video of this story, click here.

article by Britni Danielle via clutchmagonline.com