University to create College of Media Ebert Center

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The College of Media announced Thursday it will establish the Ebert Center to honor University alumnus and film critic, Roger Ebert.

Jan Slater, dean of the college, said the University has been working on plans for the center since Ebert and his wife Chaz made a donation to the college in 2009.

“This will be a programmatic center – with a mission for engaging students, audience, scholars, faculty and filmmakers of the past, present and future,” Slater said. “The guiding principles are for it to emphasize the careful study and (appreciation) of film, filmmakers, and the industries that support them.”

Students will also be able to earn internships and fellowships through the center’s programs. Slater said students can become Ebert Fellows by participating in the competitive application process. Of the 19 applicants, three students were chosen as Ebert Fellows for the upcoming academic year. 

Each year, students will work with a professional critic as Ebert Fellows. In the program’s first year, students will be mentored by Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and work with him to produce content for local publications.