WWU welcomes alumnus and history-making 2012 Oscar winner TJ Martin

Oscar-winning director and Western Washington University alumnus TJ Martin was welcomed on the university’s campus Thursday, March 1, just days after he won an Academy Award for his documentary “Undefeated.”

Martin made history as the first African American director of a full-length feature film or full-length documentary to win an Oscar.

“On behalf of a proud Western Washington University community, congratulations to TJ Martin for his remarkable documentary and for receiving the highest possible recognition of his craft by winning an Academy Award,” Western’s president Bruce Shepard said, in a Feb. 28 press release.

“Undefeated,” Martin’s second film, documents the struggles of an inner-city football team in Memphis, Tenn., as they attempt a winning season with their charismatic and devoted coach Bill Courtney. The March 1 screening of the film on Western’s campus, sponsored by the school’s alumni association, was sold out.

“TJ Martin is thrilled he is able to support student scholarships at Western. He knows how important it is for students to have the necessary financial support to succeed,” Deborah DeWees, executive director of the alumni association, said.

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