The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation – LA Semester Entertainment Excellence Award provides financial support for outstanding students in the Syracuse University LA Semester program.


Students are responsible for securing and viewing a FILM from the filmography found here. Students should write an essay, which includes the following:

  • A synopsis of the film
  • A critique of the film
  • An evaluation of how Jack Oakie’s or Victoria Horne Oakie’s performance and/or character contributes to the film or its themes

Essays should be: Word documents, 900 and 1,000 words, double spaced, 12pt. Times New Roman, with one-inch margins. Submit to Jack Eddy at by the date specified during the predeparture meeting.

These merit-based awards will be judged by a committee of Syracuse University professors. Essays will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Adherence to all essay content, style, and formatting guidelines
  • Persuasiveness of points, supported by relevant details and well-developed arguments
  • Organization and clarity of ideas; effective transitions between key points and topics
  • Liveliness and personality in the writing
  • Strong writing mechanics, with little/no obvious typographical or grammatical errors
  • All essays will be checked with Turnitin. Essays that show evidence of improperly cited references or plagiarism will be disqualified.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be accepted for and attend the VPA LA Semester program for the application semester
  • Must be in good academic and University standing
  • Students of all majors may apply

Awards (up to):

One $2,500 scholarship
One $1,500 scholarship
One $1,000 scholarship

Award is received via the awardees’ Syracuse University Bursar account. NOTE: The acceptance of this award may impact a student’s existing financial aid package. Students may contact their financial aid counselor in the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarship Programs at 315.443.1513 to determine if acceptance of this scholarship will have any impact on their account.

Please contact Jack Eddy, VPA LA administrative specialist, with any questions at  


The Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation’s mission is to follow through with the late Jack Oakie’s wish, “Give the money to the kids,” by underwriting lectures on comedy and scholarships for deserving film and theater students at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country.

Both Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie were active participants in and during the famous Golden Age of Hollywood. Jack Oakie came to Hollywood in 1927. His career by that time already included vaudeville, Broadway musicals and appearances in New York films. In Hollywood, he made 87 pictures, mostly comedies or musical comedies, over which period he perfected his trademark comic triple-take. His career included such films as “Once in a Lifetime,” “Million Dollar Legs” and “It Happened Tomorrow.” Oakie received an Academy Award nomination in the supporting role category for his satirical portrait of a Mussolini-like head of state in 1940’s “The Great Dictator.” Victoria Horne Oakie was an American character-actress, appearing in 49 films (uncredited in 25 of these) during the 1940s and 1950s. Some of the films in which she appeared included "Blue Skies" (1946), "Forever Amber" (1947, uncredited), "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (1947), "Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff" (1949), and "Harvey" (1950). Jack Oakie died in 1978 and his wife, Victoria Horne, died in 2003.  Between them, they acted in more than 122 films over a 60-year period.  Their contributions to acting and comedy can now be passed on to a new generation with the help of their Foundation scholarships.

  • No labels