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Professor Gave CSUN $1 Million

March 07, 2000|HILARY E. MacGREGOR

Emmy Award-winning TV writer and producer Alan Armer, a retired professor at Cal State Northridge, has given $1 million to the school to build a new screening room.

It is the largest gift the school has ever received from a faculty member, officials said.

Armer, 77, who taught in CSUN's Radio-Television-Film Department for two decades, gave the gift anonymously while he was still teaching.

But Armer retired in June, and the university made his gift public at a kickoff for CSUN's new capital initiative last week.

Armer said he donated the money because he admired the grit of his CSUN students.

"The kids who go to Cal State Northridge mostly come from blue-collar families, are working full-time putting themselves through school, and never even have time to see their parents and friends," Armer said. "They are gutsy, wonderful kids" who have to compete with students from heavily endowed schools like USC and UCLA.

The money will pay for a 120-seat screening room in the new College of Arts, Media and Communication Building, which is under construction. The screening room will be named for Armer and his wife, Elaine.

Armer, who lives in West Los Angeles, started his career in show business at a radio station in San Jose.

Those were the early days of television, and he soon got a job acting in, directing, narrating and editing TV commercials.

After creating his own television show with a friend at a local NBC affiliate in 1948--the first year that NBC went on the air--he wrote, produced and directed several television programs, including "My Friend Flicka," wrote and produced "The Fugitive" (for which he was twice nominated for an Emmy) and later became executive producer for "The Untouchables," for which he won an Emmy.

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