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Mr. Smith Goes to Hollywood

Siena Heights Graduate Enjoys Distinguished Career as Director of Photography

Darryl E. Smith casts a long shadow standing 6 feet, 8 inches tall. However, that shadow pales in comparison to the one he has cast as a director of photography in Hollywood.

The 1985 Siena Heights graduate has an impressive list of credits and clients, including MTV, Disney, Coca-Cola, CBS, the NFL Network and HBO. The owner of his own production company, Darryl E. Smith Productions, for the past 14 years, he said his path to success was a winding one. And his starting point was Siena Heights University.

Originally recruited to play basketball at Siena by former coach Ben Braun, Smith said Siena Heights was the only school that showed interest in him as a student—not just as a basketball player.

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Siena Heights Student Gilius Blinstrubas ’17 Follows in his Family’s Entrepreneurial Footsteps

His grandfather started one.

His father started one.

So, it’s not that unusual that Gilius (pronounced GIL-us) Blinstrubas (far right) decided to start his own business. What is unusual is that Blinstrubas started not one—but two—businesses before beginning his junior year at Siena Heights University.

“It takes a special person to do it,” Blinstrubas said. “I really enjoy business. I spend a lot of time reading business books, articles and talking to people about business. It doesn’t feel like work.”

The grandson of Lithuanian immigrants who came to the U.S. during World War II, Blinstrubas’ grandfather started his own tool-and-die business, and his father a law firm. Their entrepreneurial example inspired him to start his first business in 2013 as a freshman at SHU.

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Impactful Art

Martin Moreno ’88 Leads Lenawee County Mural Project

Siena Heights was involved with the Lenawee County Mural Project headed by SHU alum and nationally recognized muralist Martin Moreno ’88 last summer. Moreno was commissioned to head the project, which included creating a mural on the side of the Fishes and Loaves building in the city of Adrian (above).

The project began in June was finished in July. SHU student, faculty and staff volunteers painted and helped with design. The project was coordinated by SHU Arts Engagement Coordinator Joni Warner (right).

Moreno also donated a smaller mural to be auctioned off at the annual Siena Summer Spectacular for Scholarships on June 21. Moreno is pictured below with members of the Adrian Dominican Sisters, who won the live auction for his artwork. The Spectacular raised a record $80,000 this year for student scholarships.

To view a video on the process of the mural project, visit