Mike Fries ’85, has made a gift of $2 million in support of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives Endowment Fund. The gift establishes the Charles W. Fries Curator of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives, which Fries named in honor of his father, Chuck Fries, who is considered the “godfather” of the television movie.
Mike Fries ’85, president and chief executive officer of Liberty Global, has made a gift of $2 million in support of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives Endowment Fund.
The gift establishes the Charles W. Fries Curator of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives, which Fries named in honor of his father. Chuck Fries is considered the “godfather” of the television movie for his role in producing or supervising more than 275 hours of television movies and mini-series. His films have won Emmy, Peabody, Humanitas and Christopher awards among others from film festivals.
“Wesleyan’s Cinema Archives,” says President Michael S. Roth, “is a treasure trove for the film industry and for film scholars. I am deeply grateful to Mike for his generous support, which will significantly enhance the ability of the Archives to serve film researchers worldwide. Mike is a great Wesleyan citizen.”
The gift will fulfill the matching requirement of a Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for support of the Cinema Archives.
Wesleyan will also be receiving archival materials from Chuck Fries to be preserved in the Ogden and Mary Louise Reid Cinema Archives. The 50-plus collections there include holdings devoted to Elia Kazan, Frank Capra, Ingrid Bergman, Clint Eastwood, John Waters and Martin Scorsese, among others.
Chuck Fries and Jeanine Basinger, Wesleyan’s Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies and curator of the Cinema Archives, were trustees together on the board of the American Film Institute for more than a decade and both received AFI honorary degrees in 2006. “Chuck is a colorful and dynamic man in the true fashion of a television or film mogul,” she says. “He knows how to get things done with generosity and humor, and is a pleasure to work with. We’re looking forward to having him be part of our Archive family.”
Mike Fries is a 25-year veteran of the cable and media industry who, at Liberty Global, leads the second largest cable TV operator in the world, with nearly 33 million video, voice, and broadband subscribers. (more…)