Science and art empower alum to light the stage
On a night where Virginia Tech’s best qualities were displayed on stage, it was a product of them helping cast the spotlight.
“The biggest takeaway from my time here that I use every day on the job is the techniques of problem solving I learned,” said Troy Fujimura, a Hokie who graduated with degrees in both computer science and theater arts in 1996. “They taught us to use an ensemble method. You didn’t solve a problem by yourself, you were always working with groups of people to explore topics and develop concepts.”
Fujimura put his interdisciplinary skill set to work as the lighting director for the multimedia kickoff of Boundless Impact: The Campaign for Virginia Tech, at the Moss Arts Center. He collaborated with colleagues to design the display that would artistically and efficiently light up the event and then oversaw the entire events lighting operations.
The campaign announced is the most ambitious fundraising and engagement campaign in university history with goals of raising $1.5 billion to fuel university-wide excellence and meaningfully engaging 100,000 alumni in the process. It’s projected to run until June 30, 2027.
Back in the early 1990s, it was the university’s ability to provide Fujimura with an excellent education in both computer science and theater arts that led him to pick Virginia Tech over the other 30-plus institutes he explored.
“Tech is really one of those schools that’s really well rounded,” he said. “It’s really strong in computer science and super strong in theater arts.”
Following his graduation, Fujimura spent three years doing light production with touring Broadway shows. He went on to produce lighting displays for a long list of highly visible events, including working with performer Lady Gaga at the Grammys and country music star Garth Brooks’ performance at Yankee Stadium.
Fuijmura recently began working as the product and support director for disguise, a multimedia company that provides visual performance software and hardware to artists and technicians. And though he’s scaled back his work directing lighting for events, he jumped at the chance to bring his work back to campus and was even able to work with some graduate students while he was here.
“It’s nice because I started out at Tech, and that’s carried me to do shows all over,” Fujimura said. “Now it comes full circle, and I would love to find ways to come back and do more.”
— Written by Travis Williams