New Journalism Home Celebrates Grand Opening
The grand opening of Franklin Hall celebrates the completion of a $21 million restoration project, providing students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) with a new state-of-the-art facility that enhances the quality of their education and helps prepare them for jobs in a fast-changing media environment.
As part of Kent State’s Centennial Celebration, a grand opening and open house are scheduled for Friday, April 18, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Franklin Hall. Alumni and others throughout the Kent State community are invited to attend. The event is free, but a reservation is required by April 4 by contacting Kent State’s Office of Donor Relations at 330-672-2899 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event will be broadcast live throughout the newly renovated building’s various classrooms from the First Energy Auditorium. Hosts include Kent State President Lester A. Lefton; Dr. James L. Gaudino, dean of the College of Communication and Information; Jeffrey Fruit, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication; and other members of the university administration.
The theme of the grand opening — “Franklin. Finally.” — spotlights JMC as a program with national influence and stature. Fully accredited, the school serves more than 1,000 undergraduate majors and offers degrees in magazine, news, broadcast and visual journalism; electronic media production; public relations; and advertising.
Through the renovation, the school blends traditional journalistic values with cutting-edge technology, all designed to allow students to move seamlessly from the educational to workplace environment. “It’s a bridge building, designed to take a student from the conventions of an education process into the real world,” says architect Ron Reed.
The move also means that, for the first time in the school’s history, the print and broadcast programs of JMC (which merged in 1987 but were separately located in Taylor Hall and the Music and Speech Center) are housed under the same roof, an important factor in the school’s continued accreditation process.
The highlights of the new facility include:
The project has been recognized as an effort to cultivate Kent-area businesses and was awarded by the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce with one of four Immy Awards.
The school hopes to see increased enrollment thanks to the unique experiences available to students in the new facility. That could ideally lead to more faculty and expanded programs in the future.
For more information about the grand opening of Franklin Hall and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, please visit the JMC Web site.
By Melody Wachowski, with additional information from the Spring 2008 issue of Jargon, the alumni newsletter of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication