Bernard V. (Ben) Abbene was a professor at Loyola University and Loyola Marymount University in the Communication Arts Department, predecessor to the School of Film and Television, from 1965 to 1987. He was the first chair of the department, and was key in the establishment, fundraising, and design of the Wilfred and Mary Jane Von der Ahe Communication Arts Building. Aided by his personal and professional relationships, Professor Abbene filled the early film and television production programs with accomplished industry professionals. Similarly, he brought guest lecturers and visitors such as Academy Award winner Edward Anhalt, screenwriter Joseph Stone, Emmy Award winner Lamar Caselli, and Los Angeles Times film critic Charles Champlin to speak at the University. His "Tuesday Night at the Movies" class, often standing-room only, showcased soon-to-be released motion pictures and featured discussion with many Hollywood producers, writers, and directors. Professor Abbene was awarded the first John Edward Cosgrove Chair in Communication Arts. Following his death in 2006, the Bernard Abbene Comedy Writing Award was established at LMU in his honor by alumnus and former trustee John F. Cosgrove M.A. '77, CEO of Cosgrove/Meurer Productions.
Professor Abbene earned a bachelor's degree and an M.F.A. from Fordham University. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a tail-gunner during World War II, and taught English at Hofstra University and Fordham University prior his time at LMU. In 1962, he moved his family to California and worked as a screenwriter. Professor Abbene served as head of the Creative Division at Henry Jaffee Enterprises, as producer and writer at David Wolper Productions, and on the staffs at ABC, NBC, and Warner Brothers. He held memberships in the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild, the Actors Equity Association, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Writers Guild of America.