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May the Roads Rise With You Frank!

July 11th, 2007


Frank Terry was the dean of the character animation program at the California Institute of the Arts for 11 years. During his tenure there, many great students, exceptional teachers and jaw dropping films sprang forth from those doors to tear down the walls of the current (& not so distant future) Animation Industry.
Frank announced his decision to retire yesterday in a beautiful and inspiring letter to both the current students and alumni, and has kindly granted me permission to repost his letter on the Frederator Blogs.
Taking his place will be Cynthia Overman, a very gifted animator, patient teacher, and wonderful human being. Frank couldn’t have chosen a more worthy person to pass the torch onto. I know she will guide the next generation of young, talented filmmakers in the right direction.
Without further ado, here’s Frank’s letter:

To All Character Animation Faculty and Staff,

I hope the 2007 spring finds you all well and looking forward to the quiet of Summer. This is indeed my last day anywhere near the Office of the Director of the Character Animation Program. Next School year I will be teaching only a quiet night class or two, and not involving myself with the Directing of the Program. Minimized to the Max. That is now the responsibility of Ms. Cynthia Overman. And I am delighted with the decisions of the School of Film and Video.
Cynthia will be a wonderful Director!

So, Thank you all for the remarkable 11 years of my Directorship. You have all given me memories that I would wish for all of you to experience. To all of our Students - both Graduated and not, come back often … call Cynthia … find time to teach or at least present a workshop. Your participation with the department is as essential to its health as the health of the Instructors. You all were selected from the request of many, and each carry a uniqueness that is remarkable. It has been a joy to be associated with you.
Stay healthy; Grow in Artistry and Stature, and Stay in Touch!

To the Faculty who have labored along side the students; all of the accomplishments of the Department are a reflection of your efforts, collectively, and not of any one individual … Thank you for all or your expertise and sacrifices … I’m sure we know your participation was for the students, as the Salary was never a reason. Long Days and Long Nights have made the Program the finest in the World, and it is because of your efforts … I hope that you will continue that effort.

To the Staff and all support people … none of this would have happened without your active participation. To you all, the Department owes a great deal of gratitude and indebtedness … time and time again, despite seeming like we are alone in a sea of disregard, our labs, Mentor process, and quality of connection are all rather admired. With only a small Office Staff and an even Smaller Technical Staff, you have accomplished some rather Remarkable results!

And finally, to Cynthia, I would say … “Have At It!”… I hereby turn over to you the finest Animation Program that I know of, and one that is respected, World Wide.

Thank you all, once again

You know those rare people who touch your life and have a profound effect and leave a lasting imprint on you for years to come? Frank is one of those people to me. I couldn’t have survived or have gotten through Calarts if he didn’t take me under his wings. He was my mentor, confidant, and true friend.
I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am if it wasn’t for you.
Thank you for everything Frank. Truly.
May the Roads Rise with you my Friend…

-Jeaux Janovsky

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I think it’s fair to say that Frank Terry will live on in the lives of this generation of animation folks for the next 40 years. Thanks Frank, we’ll miss you.


He never mixed words. And expected the same from you.

Have Conviction, Be Honest and dont Bullshit around.

Thanks Frank and All the Best!!!


May you get to have many lovely autumn walks on a windy day Frank! Thank you for all your hard work and kind words/inspiration through out the years!

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