The Hollywood bug bit Rich Hull, BA’92, shortly after he graduated from Vanderbilt.
“I met some guys who were doing a theater show, and they gave me a free place to live in exchange for me being their assistant,” Hull says. “I did everything from build props and get coffee, to fill in for an injured actor a few minutes before curtain. I went on, and it was horrible. So I realized quickly I didn’t want to act, but that I did want to work in the entertainment business.”
Hull’s experiences inspired him, along with fellow Vanderbilt alumnus Chad Gervich, BA’96, to start the Vandy-in-Hollywood program in 2006. Every year, about 30 Vanderbilt students are placed at major talent agencies, production companies, studios and networks, receiving one-on-one mentorship from a Vanderbilt alum and networking opportunities. These days there are hundreds of Vanderbilt alumni working in Hollywood, many of whom went through the ViH summer internship program.
Over the years, Hull and Gervich realized that some students, despite earning a spot in the program and having a deep desire to participate, had to turn down the opportunity because the cost of living in Los Angeles for the summer was too much.
Hull and his wife, Kelly, have created the Vanderbilt In Hollywood Internship Endowment, a need-based scholarship that supports students with cost-of-living expenses during the ViH summer program.
Whether a student uses the ViH experience to launch a career in Hollywood, or ultimately decides this isn’t the career path they want to pursue, Hull says the program provides an invaluable opportunity that now everyone can access.
Dive deeper and read the full story by Erin Steinbrüchel Holt, BA’05, here.