George Lucas, chairman of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, has been deeply concerned about improving education for several decades, based on his boyhood years in Modesto, California, and his experience as a father. He believes that project-based learning, organizing students into teams, and use of multimedia technology can engage the imaginations and curiosity of many more students, just as these educational practices engaged him at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television in the late 1960s.
As a storyteller, visionary, and innovator, his own imagination has led to the phenomenally successful Star Wars saga. For the first Star Wars film in 1977, Mr. Lucas surpassed the limitations of filmmaking and created his own visual effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, delivering the hundreds of shots required to make his vision a reality. He is also the creator of the highly successful Indiana Jones films and the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
Lucas, as chairman of Lucasfilm Ltd., has expanded the organization to encompass several companies, including Lucas Digital (Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound), a pioneer in the fields of digital visual effects and sound design; the LucasArts Entertainment Company, a leading developer of computer games; and Lucas Licensing, the company responsible for translating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones brands into best-selling novels, toys, and merchandise.
In 1992, Lucas was the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, the highest award a filmmaker can receive from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.