108 - Nancy Utley Jacobs

Since 2009, under the leadership of Co-Chairman Nancy Utley Jacobs, Xi/Northwestern, films at Fox Searchlight Pictures (now Searchlight Pictures) have grossed more than $5 billion and won 38 of its 148 Oscar nominations.

Before she was Co-Chairman, this Glen Ellyn, Illinois, native was appointed President and charged with jointly managing all aspects of the company including production, acquisitions, marketing, and distribution, and she did so with the strong partnership of fellow President Stephen Gilula. Since 1999 when she was named President of Marketing and promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2006, Nancy has overseen some of Fox Searchlight’s most successful films to date including Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and The Shape of Water.

Nancy Utley Jacobs, Xi/Northwestern

Prior to Fox Searchlight, Nancy worked since 1986 in a variety of capacities for Twentieth Century Fox, including most recently Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Marketing for Twentieth Century Fox Films. In previous roles, she oversaw all aspects of media, research, publicity, and promotion for Twentieth Century Fox’s theatrical releases. She also held posts as Vice President of Media, Senior Vice President of Media and Research, and Executive Vice President of Marketing, Media and Research.

When asked what line of the Symphony best describes Nancy, her daughter Hannah, Phi Alpha/George Washington, said, “‘To work earnestly, to speak kindly, to act sincerely.’ I know the reason my mom is so successful, not just at her job but in life, is because she possesses these three qualities. She works harder than anyone I know to be a strong working woman, as well as a full-time mom for my family. You will not catch her complaining. She is kind and patient to everyone around her and her actions are consistently genuine and selfless.”

In 2012, these qualities were celebrated on in front on a national stage when Nancy was named the Malinda Jolley Mortin Woman of Achievement at the biennial Chi Omega Convention. She was the first recipient of the award to have two daughters who were currently in collegiate chapters at the time of her award. They are now both proud alumnae (Hannah, Phi Alpha/George Washington alumna, and Katy, Beta Alpha/Pennsylvania alumna), and in 2015 her daughter Mia pledged at Alpha/Washington.