Want to entice college students to get out of bed for an 8 a.m. class? Make Matthew McConaughey their professor. The Texas native is returning to the Lone Star state for his latest role, which sees the Oscar winner doing his best Dead Poets Society performance as a faculty member of the film school at the University of Texas at Austin.
McConaughey has joined the faculty as the new professor for the Script to Screen class in the Moody College of Communication, with the school tweeting the news on Wednesday. Likely setting new enrolment records, the Moody College Twitter account made the announcement, writing “In recognition of his professional pedigree and personal investment in student success, Matthew McConaughey has been appointed a #TEXASMoody professor of practice. @McConaughey will continue to teach the #UTScriptoScreen class in @UTRTF.”
The tweet included a picture of McConaughey with his students, with the new prof wearing a bandana, sunglasses, and a fanny pack while giving the ‘Hook ‘Em Horns’ salute that’s been made famous by the Texas school. Oh yeah, McConaughey is definitely the prof that is going to play hacky sack with students between classes on the quad. We have no doubt his bongo drums are nearby as well.
In recognition of his professional pedigree and personal investment in student success, Matthew McConaughey has been appointed a #TEXASMoody professor of practice. @McConaughey will continue to teach the #UTScriptoScreen class in @UTRTF. pic.twitter.com/9goKkc6U0A
— TEXAS Moody (@UTexasMoody) August 28, 2019
McConaughey is no stranger to the Texas school. The Dallas Buyers Club actor has been a visiting professor since 2015 and has previously worked as a co-teacher with director Scott Rice, with McConaughey helping to develop the course curriculum. Past courses taught by McConaughey have included in-depth studies of some of his film roles, including titles like White Boy Rick, Free State of Jones, and The Beach Bum, with directors Harmony Korine, Gary Ross and Yann Demange visiting Professor McConaughey’s class. For those enrolled in McConaughey’s Fall 2019 course, the actor plans on focusing on his films Mud and The Gentleman with a guest lecture from director Jeff Nichols. Please check your syllabus for due dates.
McConaughey’s new status as fulltime faculty member is a full-circle moment for the Texas native, with McConaughey also an alum of UT Austin. The actor graduated in 1993 with a film degree and if he’s not on the front of every brochure for the film program, we think there’s a big marketing opportunity being overlooked.
In a statement to the University, McConaughey said his course is “the class I wish I would have had when I was in film school. Working in the classroom with these students gives me a chance to prepare them. Making movies, turning words on paper into film, is both a science and art – no matter the time or generation. The elements of truth and genuine joy for the process are timeless. That will always be our classroom focus.”
Noah Isenberg, chair of the Department of Radio-Television-Film, said McConaughey “has a passion for teaching, and for all things cinematic, that is palpable, even infectious.”
His role at UT Austin is the latest move in McConaughey’s efforts to support his home state. The actor became a part owner of professional soccer team Austin FC earlier this month. The soccer club is planning on building a new venue, with McConaughey hoping the move will help expand the city he loves. “Austin FC is more than a quality investment FOR Austin, it’s a quality investment IN Austin,” said McConaughey. “The most diverse and borderless game in the world is now coming to one of the most multicultural, creative and diverse cities in the world. Austin FC is a healthy investment in our city’s culture and future.” If you want to spot Matthew McConaughey, we recommend a trip to Austin.