Producer Jerry Bruckheimer to Receive Honorary Degree at UA Afternoon Commencement Ceremony

May 9, 2006

Jerry Bruckheimer, film and television producer, is being honored with a doctor of fine arts degree from The University of Arizona College of Fine Arts (CFA) during the UA's Spring 2006 commencement afternoon ceremony.

Bruckheimer, a 1967 alumnus of the UA, is recognized internationally for his preeminence in both film and television production. "Bruckheimer is unique in the industry in that his creative vision spans both large and small screens. We are pleased to recognize his work through this honor," said Maurice Sevigny, dean of the UA College of Fine Arts.

The UA's celebrates Bruckheimer's accomplishments as a producer as the University becomes one of fewer than 10 universities in the country to offer a media arts bachelor in arts with an emphasis on producing.

On receiving the honorary degree, Bruckheimer said, "I'm often asked by aspiring filmmakers the best path into producing. My answer remains constant: obtain a solid, strong education, as knowledge is the vital key to success in any industry. Because I possess high regard for education, I am both privileged and elated to receive this honorary degree of doctor of fine arts from the University of Arizona."

The Hanson Film Institute, a part of the UA College of Fine Arts, will play a key role in offering this curriculum. "The Hanson Film Institute will be the cornerstone of a proposed School of Film and Media Arts," said Vicky Westover, program director. "I'm excited about the realization of our strong vision."

After receiving a bachelor of arts degree from the UA in psychology, Bruckheimer briefly worked in advertising but soon moved to Los Angeles to begin his career in film. His first producer credit was on the film "Farewell, My Lovely" (1975), a Raymond Chandler story starring Robert Mitchum. Bruckheimer later teamed with Don Simpson, and during their 13-year partnership, produced some of the highest-grossing pictures of the 1980s including "Flashdance" (1983), the "Beverly Hills Cop" series and "Top Gun" (1986).

In 1996, Bruckheimer formed his solo production company, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, and subsequent work explored three basic themes: the testing of the individual in military conflict ("Black Hawk Down," "Pearl Harbor"); the role of mentors in building character ("Remember the Titans," "Glory Road"); and the iconoclast's quest ("King Arthur," "Pirates of the Caribbean").

Bruckheimer's television work explores the themes of the mentor and iconoclasm in Emmy-winning hour-long dramas such as the "CSI" franchise, "Without a Trace" and "Cold Case." In the nonfiction arena, "The Amazing Race," with production crews and offices in multiple international locations, has been honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with three Emmy Awards for best reality/competition program.

Jerry Bruckheimer Productions has become synonymous with high-quality film and television entertainment that delivers rich, inventive aesthetics and stories that take audiences inside environments as diverse as forensic labs, fifth-century Britain, a race around the globe or a military helicopter down behind enemy lines. Bruckheimer, the only child of German immigrants, has launched and enhanced the careers of numerous actors, directors and creative executives.