Award-Winning Filmmaker Inducted as RVC Distinguished Alumnus

This year’s nomination for RVC’s 2023 distinguished alumnus has been five years in the making. Bing Liu, a 2008 graduate of Rock Valley College, received a nomination for this significant honor thanks to his RVC mass communications professor, Jerry LaBuy. The review committee, comprised of faculty and staff, voted unanimously and without hesitation to welcome Bing into the Distinguished Alumnus Hall of Fame.

Bing Liu, RVC 2023 Distinguished Alumnus, standing in front of the RVC Distinguished Alumnus wall at Rock Valley College.

Bing Liu, RVC 2023 Distinguished Alumnus, standing in front of the RVC Distinguished Alumnus wall at Rock Valley College.

Established by Rock Valley College, the Distinguished Alumni award aims to acknowledge individuals who bring the highest distinction to themselves, contribute significantly to their community, and serve as exemplary role models for current Rock Valley College students. Criteria for candidates include exemplifying outstanding character and citizenship, as well as showcasing proven success in professional, civic, or charitable efforts leading to positive changes in communities, institutions, civic movements, or fields of endeavor.

“As a member of Bing’s nomination review committee, the decision to accept his nomination for induction was an easy one,” said Jerry LaBuy. “Bing’s career success speaks for itself through the prestigious awards he has received and those he has been nominated for, as well. Through an RVC alum lens, we feel Bing is a strong role model for our current students, which also made his induction decision effortless. Bing and his work embody passion, grit, dedication to one’s craft, humility, and the ability to uplift and amplify the voices of others with powerful stories to tell. We are fortunate that Bing’s journey and story include Rock Valley College.”

Bing Liu is a Chicago-based filmmaker, producer, and director whose critically acclaimed documentary Minding the Gap has earned over 50 award recognitions since its premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where it took home the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking. He directed three storylines on America to Me, a 10-hour series from Steve James that examines racial inequities in the U.S. education system.

He's a member of the Directors Guild of America and a former member of the International Cinematographers Guild. He is a 2017 Film Independent Fellow and Garrett Scott Development Grant recipient and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Bing’s documentary “Minding the Gap” was the first feature film he directed. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature and Emmy-nominated at the 91st Academy Awards. His second documentary feature, “All These Sons,” which focuses on gun violence in Chicago as it follows two Chicago-area programs targeting at-risk young men, premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, where Liu and Altman won the jury award for Best Cinematography, Documentary Feature.

Bing credits much of his success to what he learned at RVC.

“Every time I come back it’s a reminder not only of what I went through but also how much I’ve changed and I’m able to connect the dots more of what’s shaped me.”

"I'm very excited that we could hold this terrific ceremony and have this moment for Bing,” said RVC Foundation Executive Director Brittany Freiberg. “He deserves it. He’s worked very hard in his career and I’m glad the college is recognizing him as a distinguished alumnus."