Webster University’s Animation Program Ranked in National List

A classroom of future animators School of Communications Program also Listed as 12th Best in the Midwest

ST. LOUIS (APRIL 29, 2014) - Webster University’s Animation Program in the School of Communications was ranked as the 12th best program in the Midwest and the 66th best in the nation by Animation Career Review, a website for people aspiring for careers in animation, game development/design/art, graphic design, digital art, and related fields.

Animation Career Review has ranked animation programs annually since 2012. This is the first time Webster’s program has been ranked nationally, and the highest ranking it has ever received regionally.

“I am pleased that the hard work and dedication of the faculty and staff and the quality of the students was recognized on a national level,” said Eric Rothenbuhler, dean of the School of Communications. “The Animation Program teaches strong fundamentals with cutting-edge technology and advances the artistic side of our students to mold them into some of the most talented animators in the field today.”

Webster’s Animation program was ranked as the 12th best in the Midwest region, which includes programs at universities and colleges in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Last year, Webster’s program was ranked 19th.

The program also was listed as the 66th best in the nation, the first time that Webster University was listed in the top 100 by Animation Career Review.

Leah Latham, a 2010 graduate of Webster University’s Animation Program, worked on Disney’s film “Frozen,” which won the 2014 Oscar for best animated film. Past alumni of the program have gone on to work on other blockbuster films: Shanese Williams worked on “Man of Steel” and “The Amazing Spiderman;” Tim Latham worked on “Thor: The Dark World,” “The Wolverine,” “Pacific Rim,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3;” and Kristen Pratt worked on “Game of Thrones,” “Godzilla” and “Maleficent.” Other graduates also have contributed to films such as “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Sunny With a Chance of Meatballs” and “Despicable Me,” to name a few.

“I love seeing alumni of the program listed in the credits of the biggest blockbusters in theaters,” said Chris Sagovac, assistant professor and head of the animation program. “It is amazing to see where an artist comes from, contribute to their artistic growth and watch them succeed in the professional world.”

Animation Career Review started its annual animation school rankings in 2012. Criteria used to rank a school include academic reputation, admission selectivity, the depth and breadth of the program courses and the faculty, the value of the school as it relates to tuition and average student debt, and geographic location.

For the 2014 rankings, the guide also sent every school under consideration surveys requesting specific information about their programs as well as asking them to rank peer institutions. The Midwest rankings can be viewed at http://www.animationcareerreview.com/articles/top-20-animation-schools-midwest-2014. The national rankings can be found at http://www.animationcareerreview.com/articles/2014-top-100-animation-school-programs-us.

About Webster University

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University’s campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.