Around New England

Ken Burns Trying To Help Save Hampshire College

December 4, 2019

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns helped kick off a $60 million fund-raising campaign to try to save his alma mater Hampshire College.

“This is my family,” Burns said during an appearance on campus Tuesday, December 3, according to MassLive.com.

Hampshire College, which is in Amherst, Massachusetts, nearly went out of business earlier this year. School officials announced in October the college is getting rid of majors and departments in an attempt to reinvent itself.

Burns, 66, graduated from Hampshire College in 1975. His senior thesis was a documentary about Old Sturbridge Village, an outdoor museum in Sturbridge, Massachusetts that is a re-created New England village from the 1830s.

He first came to prominence in 1990 with the 10-hour documentary miniseries The Civil War, which is still the most watched program ever to air on public television.

Burns’s latest documentary on country music has aired recently on PBS, is working on seven films at the moment, according to MassLive.com. The subjects include the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin, Muhammad Ali, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the American buffalo.

Burns lives in New Hampshire.

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