San Diego State University
Kathleen Kennedy is an internationally renowned movie producer who, during her 21-year career in filmmaking, has produced such films as the Academy Award winning Schindler's List; the popular Back to the Future trilogy; the technological breakthrough Who Framed Roger Rabbit?; and the box office blockbuster Jurassic Park.
Born and raised in the small Northern California town of Redding, Ms. Kennedy studied telecommunications and film at San Diego State University, receiving her bachelor's degree in 1977. As a student, she worked for four years at local television station KCST, doing everything from camera operator, video editor, floor director and new production coordinator.
After graduating from San Diego State, Ms. Kennedy worked as a public affairs officer on the Hollywood film 1941, where she met Steven Spielberg. The two filmmakers teamed up to produce such movies as Poltergeist and E.T. Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Spielberg, along with producer Frank Marshall, co-founded Amblin Productions in 1982. Ten years later, Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Marshall founded the Kennedy/Marshall Company, and secured a three-year deal to develop and produce films for Paramount Pictures. Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Marshall have since gone on to produce such films as Seabiscuit, The Sixth Sense, Congo and Twister.
Over the years, Ms. Kennedy has made time to mentor aspiring filmmakers. On numerous occasions, she has returned to San Diego State to talk with faculty, students and alumni about the inside workings of the film and television industry. Along with her colleagues from DreamWorks Pictures, Ms. Kennedy has been intimately involved with Workplace Hollywood, an organization that provides job training and employment for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged workers.
In recognition of her accomplishments in the entertainment industry and her commitment to students, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Diego State University are proud to confer on Kathleen Kennedy the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.