The $50,000 grant will support Tisch drama students who demonstrate financial need, academic merit and artistic talent. Initial funding was provided by James Declan Tobin, an Irish producer who was inspired by spending time with the Hoffman family.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of the greatest actors of our generation,” Tobin said. “This scholarship will inspire Tisch Drama students to follow his enchanted ways on both the screen and the stage, embodying those moments that are so truthfully evocative of the human experience, and give them the opportunity to thrive. Phil was beloved by his peers and his fans and he often expressed gratitude and love to those around him. With this scholarship, I hope to continue Phil’s legacy of warmth and generosity by creating pathways for Tisch Drama students to reach similar heights.”
Hoffman, who died in 2014, received acclaim for numerous roles over the course of his illustrious career including “Capote,” “Boogie Nights,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Doubt” and “The Master.” For his work onstage in “Death of a Salesman,” “True West” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” Hoffman earned three Tony nominations. The scholarship was founded with support from Hoffman’s mother, Marilyn O’Connor.
“NYU Tisch School of the Arts was my son’s first choice for a college to begin his career as an actor. He was excited, challenged and stimulated by the environment and its teachers,” O’Connor said. “Phil never forgot his time there and went on to build a remarkable career in the theater and movies. He would be pleased to be a part of someone else having the same opportunity that he had. It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting him as a student and continuing to work with him professionally after he graduated. We are grateful that he will be honored for his work as a student and actor in a way that will support the next generation.”
The Philip Seymour Hoffman scholarship will be awarded to students once it reaches its endowment goal, according to the university.
Rubén Polendo, chair of the department of drama at Tisch School of the Arts, says he hopes the scholarship will inspire graduates to chart their own artistic legacy.
“Philip Seymour Hoffman embodies everything we aim to instill in our graduates: versatility, generosity, and a profound ability to plumb the depths of the human heart with grace and talent,” Polendo said. “We’re grateful that Tisch Drama students will have this scholarship support to help them follow Philip Seymour Hoffman’s inspiring artistic legacy while carving out their own space as actors and artists.”