Tom Hanks the leading man in $150M fundraising campaign for university in Ohio

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FAIRBORN, Ohio (AP) — Tom Hanks’ latest starring role?

He’s the leading man in a $150 million fundraising campaign for Wright State University in southwest Ohio. What’s called the “Rise.Shine” effort is being co-chaired by Hanks and Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of the aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright for whom the school is named.

The school says the campaign has already attracted major gifts and pledges, with 10 Wright State graduates each pledging at least $1 million. The funds will go for more scholarships, attracting new faculty members and constructing state-of-the-art facilities.

Hanks has supported the school for years. He has long ties to its current Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures chairman, W. Stuart McDowell. McDowell’s Riverside Shakespeare Company of New York gave Hanks one of his early career breaks.

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