Before Tom Shadyac and his sense of humor became well known to moviegoers, he gained a measure of fame at the University by satirizing a social phenomenon. Shadyac (Col ’81) has directed numerous comedies, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Patch Adams, The Nutty Professor and Evan Almighty. But it all began with his first comic production—the “Are You a Preppie?” poster he created in 1979.
“It was clear he could do whatever he wanted because he had the drive and the energy, but I don’t guess people knew the amount of creativity he had until he came up with the preppie poster,” Dawn Heneberry (Col ’80) said in a 1997 Alumni News article about Shadyac.
The particular poster pictured on this page hung for many years in professor Larry Sabato’s (Col ’74) office.
Shadyac’s latest contribution to Charlottesville is altogether different. Shortly after filming Evan Almighty in the area, Shadyac bought an old church and launched the First Street Church Project in 2006. Groundbreaking for the project—which will be a day shelter and resource center for the homeless—was in March 2009.