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SU Alum Aaron Sorkin Supports Students in SULA Program

SU Alum Aaron Sorkin Supports Students in SULA Program

Aaron Sorkin, the Academy and Emmy Award winning screenwriter, producer and playwright, and Syracuse University alum has learned a few important things in his career. One of the most important is that people don’t know anything.

“You’ll meet a lot of people who, to put it simply, don’t know what they’re talking about,” he said in his Commencement Address to the Class of 2012.

“In 1970, a CBS executive famously said that there were four things that we would never, ever see on television: a divorced person, a Jewish person, a person living in New York City and a man with a moustache. By 1980, every show on television was about a divorced Jew who lives in New York City and goes on a blind date with Tom Selleck,” he said.

That insight, delivered with Sorkin’s trademark mix of intelligence and attitude, was Sorkin’s way of telling us we all have to follow our own path, and do what we think is right. No one should wait for instructions on how to live their life, according to Sorkin.

It’s almost ironic then, that one of Sorkin’s most enjoyable roles is as a mentor.

Sorkin Writers Journey

Aaron Sorkin Supports Students to Follow Their Own Path

In 2006, the VPA graduate began “Sorkin Week” a program for the SU Los Angeles program. The week-long practicum teaches students how Los Angeles is different from other cities , especially New York City. By giving the students different perspective, he wants them can learn the opportunities available in LA.

According to Shelly Griffin, the Newhouse School’s LA Semester coordinator, Sorkin is “wonderful with the students. He invites them to his home, and when he talks to them, he treats them like they’re the only people in the room.” Those one-on-one discussions are legendary. Sorkin meets the students for two or three hours on the first day and sometimes he will join the following activities with students. This is a man that is capable of tremendous generosity.

“Your friends, your family, this school expect more of you than vocational success.”

Sorkin’s commitment to the program is the same as his dedication to the students, which is an example to others. “The program has become better during the past ten years,” said Joan L. Adler, the Assistant VP Regional Programs-Los Angeles. “We’re getting more involved alumni.”

The guest speakers who are also the alumnus of SU among the list include producer Evan Edwards’85, actor Jay Harrington’93, director Gil Cates Jr.’91 , screenwriter and Carmen de la Paz’88, an HGTV star.


About The Author

Ruochen Shi

Master of Science in New Media Management


This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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