Elon held a ceremonial steel beam signing to honor donors and celebrate the new academic facilities now being constructed for the School of Communications Under the Oaks.
New facilities being built for the School of Communications were described by campus leaders on Friday afternoon as “state of the art” and “a springboard for continued student success” during a site dedication ceremony in Studio B of the McEwen building.
The Sept. 25 ceremony, part of this year’s Family Weekend events, recognized those families who generously provided leadership gifts totaling more than $15 million in a special one-year capital campaign to fuel the expansion. Featured remarks were shared by School of Communications Dean Paul Parsons, Elon Trustee Edmond N. Moriarty III P’15 P’18, Elon junior Taylor E. Hoerr, Vice President for University Advancement Jim Piatt and President Leo M. Lambert.
With more than 100 students, parents, faculty and staff in attendance, the program included the signing of a steel beam; those signatures will be featured in the lobby of the future Dwight C. Schar Hall, the centerpiece of the school’s expansion project.
Hoerr, a strategic communications and media analytics double major from Peoria, Illinois, thanked the donors, whose generosity will make possible even higher levels of achievement for generations of Elon students.
“When I think of what the Elon School of Communication has given me, I think of one word: opportunity,” said Hoerr, citing her mentoring relationships with professors, networking opportunities and internships. “I am proud to have the opportunity as an Elon student to be in the first class moving into the new School of Communication facilities … Your faith in our ability to succeed means communications students will continue to strive for excellence.”
Dwight C. Schar Hall, named in recognition of a gift from Dwight C. and Martha M. Schar P’16 P’19, will be a two-story, 45,000-square-foot facility that is larger than the size of McEwen Building. It will include a large media innovation lab and four additional media labs, three classrooms, seven student engagement spaces, 29 faculty offices, the Dean’s Suite, and the 250-seat Turner Theatre, funded by a gift by Elon parents Jim and Toni Turner and their sons Garrett ’08 and Parker ’06. The theatre will serve as a showcase for student productions, including a high definition screen, stadium-style seating and a premier sound system.
The new building will be connected to McEwen Building by the Snow Family Grand Atrium, a two-story glass structure that will include a large video screen that will feature student productions and daily world news broadcasts. The atrium will be named for parents David and Lynette Snow P’15.
A 7,300-square-foot pavilion will sit in front of Whitley Auditorium and between Long Building and Dwight C. Schar Hall. The Steers Pavilion, named in recognition of a gift by Bob and Lauren Steers P‘15, will be the home of the internationally renowned Imagining the Internet Center, along with a media analytics lab, four faculty offices and a student-faculty research area.
“This school’s desire to put forward great educational resources, its focus on continuing improvement, and most importantly, its people, is something you don’t understand until you get here,” Edmond N. Moriarty III P’15 P’18, an Elon University trustee and head of Merchant Banking & Real Estate Investing for Morgan Stanley, said in remarks from a donor’s perspective. “Elon is a really special place and we’re so pleased to be a part of it.”
President Lambert praised Parsons for leading the School of Communications since its founding, which “has brought this school national prominence.” Parsons currently is the longest serving dean of any school of journalism or communications in the United States.
Lambert cited alumni who have won Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars and Emmy Awards, and whose films have been honored in the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals. He praised recipients of Hearst student journalism awards and noted that Elon publishes the only undergraduate research journal in communications.
Those accolades come in the first 15 years of the school’s existence, Lambert said, and he is excited to see what the next 15 years will bring with expanded resources.
“Thanks to the generosity of families who have made lead gifts to make this building possible, a year from now, we are going to open one of the best communications facilities in the United States,” Lambert said. “Thank you all for being here today and for your continued support of Elon students, who, through programs like the School of Communications, become the ethical and resilient leaders our world so desperately needs.”
Donors recognized at the site dedication:
Jeffrey Bacciocco and Karena Zakhour-Bacciocco P’16, P’19
R. John and Lynne M. Bolton P’16, P’16
Brad W. and Michelle M. Brinegar P’18
Michael S. Bruno, Jr. and Margaret P. Bruno P’16
Bruce B. Cameron IV ’05 and Caroline Cameron
Reid T. and Suzanne C. Campbell P’12, P’19
Robert K. and Cynthia Citrone P’17
Robert J. Crimmins, Jr. and Doreen Crimmins P’16
Brian C. and Debra A. Domeck P’16
Wesley R. and Cathy S. Elingburg P’11
Scott D. and Melissa M. Gullquist P’15
Jeffrey C. and Victoria A. Hadden P’13
Russell H. and Jennifer E. Herndon P’17
Christopher C. and Alice B. Holbrook P’16, P’18
Susan S. Ittner P’17
Richard S. Johnson ’87, P’17 and Laurie L. Johnson P’17
William B. and Katherine A. Kanarick P’19
Steven and Francine S. Kyriakos P’15, P’18
Marc B. and Joy H. Lautenbach P’15
Robert G. and Jacqueline E. Leonard P’16
Christopher and Katherine Linneman P’16
Kurt A. and Anne S. Locher P’16
Warner P. Mason, Sr. and Cary S. Mason P’15
Mike McGee and Olga Castellanos P’17
Sanjeev K. and Karen P. Mehra P’16
Edmond N. Moriarty III and Jill B. Moriarty P’15, P’18
Paul and Mary Helen Parsons P’06, P’09
G. Alan and Susan W. Rafte P’16
Dwight C. and Martha M. Schar P’16, P’19
David Snow, Jr. and Lynette Snow P’15
Robert H. and Lauren J. Steers P’15
Marshall F. and Carlota Taylor P’15
Tonya R. Taylor ’94
James M. and Laurie A. Theiss P’12, P’15, P’17
William T. and Susan V. Tucker P’16
Garrett A. Turner ’08
J. Parker Turner IV ’06
James P. Turner III and Toni L. Turner P’06, P’08
H. Michael Vinson, Jr. ’07 and Kyle Dore
Pamela B. Vinson P’07
Brian and Jane Williams P’13