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Jack Van Leer

Jack Van Leer

Sr. marketing mgr., Hasbro | Global Brand Strategy | Class of 1999

Long before they were officially pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Van Leer, Jack and Elaine were two members of the Class of ’99 who shared a love of film.

Which brings us to the basement of the Main Library. Room 66. The favorite campus hangout of Jack, then a film studies major and now senior marketing manager of global brand strategy for Hasbro.

“I loved spending hours in Room 66 watching films as diverse as ‘Apocalypse Now,’ ‘Pink Flamingos’ and ‘Seven Samurai,’” he says. 

“The winding metal staircase through the stacks made the journey to the screening room always a special occasion. Sure, there were easier ways to get there but shadows from the solitary light, metal beams and rivets, and the musty old books made the long way feel like the scene of a great film noir or action movie.  

“As a tight-knit film studies community, it was nice seeing all the familiar faces of your fellow students settled in to their favorite seats for every screening. In the original room, the seats may not have been the most comfortable, the room always seemed to have a layer of dust, but I was never once unhappy about the chance to watch such amazing movies there.   

“The most memorable part, though, was meeting my wife Elaine in English 104 during our freshman year. We were teamed up to teach the class about the musical ‘Meet Me in St Louis.’ We had to explain why it was an integrated musical. We met as a group in 66 Library to watch it. 

“It was the first movie my wife and I watched side by side. We’ve been watching movies side by side ever since.”