Support the Tom Schatz Endowed Excellence Fund

So far, we've raised $38,421 toward our $250,000 goal! Support Radio-Television-Film doctoral students, while honoring the legacy of one of their biggest advocates and one of RTF's most prominent scholars, Professor Emeritus Thomas Schatz.

Support the Tom Schatz Endowed Excellence Fund

After forty-five years of highly distinguished and tireless service to the University of Texas at Austin, the Department of Radio-Television-Film’s beloved professor Tom Schatz retired in August of 2021. 

We invite you to read below about Tom's legacy and consider making an online donation
to a new endowment in his honor.

There is no doubt about Tom’s lasting, immeasurable contributions both to film and media studies scholarship and to educating generations of entertainment industry professionals. And yet, when you look at the numbers—one of Tom’s many loves—they are a striking, unmistakable illustration of what a singular researcher, mentor, and teacher Tom Schatz has been. He has taught over 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students in the classroom. He is the author of five books with two more forthcoming. He is a three-time RTF Department Chair. Tom was the dissertation advisor for 59 Ph.D. students and thesis advisor for 80 M.A. students. Over the last 33 years, Tom has been the series editor on 30 books in the Texas Film and Media series for the University of Texas Press. He has been one of only 39 select awardees of the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholars Grant. One could go on tallying the numbers.

Of course, these numbers, while significant, don’t begin to describe the impact of the devoted family man, friend, colleague, teacher, mentor, and leader in the field that Tom Schatz has been, and continues to be, for so many. Those who have had the privilege to study with Tom in a classroom find a pedagogical model that inspires. Whether engaging a lecture hall of undergraduates on the intricacies of narrative structure, encouraging first-year M.A. and advanced Ph.D. students alike to dig into archival materials, or composing a new article on contemporary Hollywood, Tom has always been laser-focused in pushing his students and colleagues to produce our best scholarly and creative work. And as Executive Director of the UT Film Institute, which he founded and launched in 2003, Schatz oversaw a program devoted to training students in narrative filmmaking and the production of feature-length independent films.

Throughout his career, Tom Schatz has been a passionate advocate and remarkable mentor for graduate students in film and media studies. Today we ask you to help us celebrate and honor his legacy by donating to the Tom Schatz Endowed Excellence Fund. Your gift will support Tom’s overwhelming desire to improve the lives of graduate students by subsidizing recipients throughout the dissertation writing process. It will also honor, and indeed enhance, the reputation that Tom has helped to establish in RTF.

We aim to build a $250,000 legacy fund in Tom’s name—another number that does not come close to measuring his impact but one we feel he would be proud of.  Please join faculty, staff, current and former students by making a gift in Tom’s honor.

If you wish to send a check: 

Make check out to: The University of Texas at Austin
Memo Line: Schatz Endowment

Send to: ATTN: Development
300 W. Dean Keeton St
Stop A0900
Austin, TX 78712

For questions regarding making a gift, please contact Virginia Anderson |

Hook ’em, 

Rachel Davis Mersey, Interim Dean, Moody College of Communication

Cindy Mccreery, Department Chair, Radio-Television-Film

Elizabeth Avellan, Co-Founder and VP, Troublemaker Studios & President, EYA Productions

Michael Barker, B.S. Speech Communication, 1976, Co-President, Sony Picture Classics

Charles Ramírez Berg, M.A. Radio-Television Film, 1975 & Ph.D. Radio-Television-Film, 1987, Joe M. Dealey, Sr. Professor in Media Studies, University Distinguished Teaching Professor

Bob Berney, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, 1976, CEO and Founder, Picturehouse

Louis Black, Ph.D. Radio-Television-Film, 2019, Co-Founder, Austin Chronicle, SXSW, Austin Music Awards and Founding board member, Austin Film Society

Rebecca Campbell, M.F.A. Radio-Television-Film, 1997, Chief Executive Officer, Austin Film Society

Kyle Davies, B.S. Radio-Television-Film & B.S. Advertising, 1985, Movie Industry Distribution and Exhibition Consultant

Jim Davis, Vice President for Legal Affairs and Business Strategies, University of Texas in memory of Robert E. (Bob) Davis, John T. Jones, Jr., Professor Emeritus in Communication

Jared Hoffman, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, 1996, President, Creator, and Executive Producer, Warrior Media

Matt Hullum, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, 1997, Chief Content Officer, Rooster Teeth

Jordan Levin, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, 1989, General Manager, Rooster Teeth

Richard Linklater, Filmmaker

Deborah McIntosh, B.S. Radio-Television-Film & B.S. Advertising, 2007, Co-head WME Independent

Thom Mount, Film, Theater and Television Producer; President, Universal Studios, The Mount Company; Co-founder Los Angeles Film School; Chairman Brainreader Inc.

John Murphy, Professor Emeritus

Horace Newcomb, former Department Chair; Director Emeritus, Peabody Awards

Ross Richie, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, 1992, Founder & Chairman, BOOM! Studios

Robert Rodriguez, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, 2008, Troublemaker Studios & Double R Productions

Kevin Rowe, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, 2009, Founding Partner, 2AM

Kevin Shivers, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, Partner, WME Entertainment

Mike Simpson, B.S. Radio-Television-Film, 1973 & M.A. Radio-Television-Film, 1978, Partner, WME Entertainment

Lev L. Spiro, M.A. Radio-Television-Film, 1990, Film and TV Director

Paul Stekler, Professor and former RTF Department Chair, Wofford Denius Chair in Entertainment Studies

For more details about Mary Gibbs Jones Centennial Chair Emeritus, Tom Schatz’s career, Jennifer Holt from the Center for Information Technology & Society at UCSB held a great interview with Tom from SCMS that you can watch, and Tom’s RTF colleague Paul Stekler honors him in this Austin Chronicle tribute.

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