April 08, 2015
Gift Allows for Hands-On Experience in Renovated Spaces for Students
Thanks to a generous gift from the Mary B. Albinson Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, the Wesleyan radio station, C-92FM, is receiving a state-of-the-art makeover that will help bring the program into the 21st century. The radio station is just one project in a multitude of renovations the Annuity Trust is helping to fund. In addition to C-92’s upgrades, the third floor of the Lynch-Raine Administration Building has been renovated and is home to the newly-renamed Thomas H. Albinson II School of Business.
C-92FM aired its first broadcast in 1969 and was known at that time as WVWC-FM. The station is one of very few college-based radio stations with a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) license, which means the station’s reach extends fully into the community and beyond and is recognized as a public radio station. Fully-operated by undergraduate students, the station is part of the communication studies and public relations programs where students in these majors serve as executives to the station and are supervised by faculty advisor Peter Galarneau ’98, assistant professor and chair of the communication department.
When asked about the new facilities, Galarneau expressed unmeasurable excitement for the opportunities being opened up for both students and the College. Students will now have the resources to gain practical experience in the world of video, audio, commentary, sports broadcasting, television, and media technology.
“For as long as I have been at the College, I have always envisioned an integrated media experience for students that affords them the chance to explore the power of media and learn through doing,” Galarneau commented. “Students should not only learn why media is so important, but to also engage in all of its forms of print, radio, cable/television, and the web. With the recent generous gifts of alumni and other donors and the 100 percent support of the College, we are now moving into this vision.”
Another individual especially excited for the renovations is Dr. Barry Pritts, vice president for administration and finance.
“The idea for the new facilities has been on the table for nearly half a decade, and thanks to the Albinson donation and approval from the administration, this project is completely underway with very high expectations,” Pritts stated.
“The new additions are completely formed around academic purposes for the students,” he continued. “With the renovated radio station, many new opportunities are becoming available for the College. These new facilities will not only increase school and program exposure, but also practical exposure for students looking to find future jobs in these respected fields.”
Upgrades to C-92FM come in part with the creation of a full media studio that will aid in the recently-formed media studies major, a field of study that deals with the content, history, and effects of various media and mass media. These upgrades will include the resurrection of Channel 22, the College’s public educational government (PEG) broadcast. The channel, which has been silent for over two years, will again provide the College an opportunity to expand its reach into the community with educational videos and broadcasts.
“The new media studio will give the media studies program a place to call home,” commented Galarneau. “The controlled environment of a studio furnished with modern technical equipment will open up all kinds of opportunities to create original content that can be integrated into Channel 22. We will have our own news shows, sports shows, interviews, learning productions, and community service pieces. The opportunities are many.”
The sports broadcasting program will also be growing alongside the new radio station facilities. Since 2005, the College began audio-only sports broadcasting of football and basketball, moving to some preliminary video production experimentation in 2010. The recent Albinson contributions have allowed investments into high end broadcasting equipment that will allow expansion of the program.
“Students now have the chance to explore the world of video, audio, commentary, and technical experiences in sports broadcasting,” commented Galarneau. “Recent investments now make on-site, live, web-enabled quality video productions a reality. The addition of dedicated, outdoor internet connections now allow sports broadcasting to move to venues such as soccer, softball, and baseball.”
With this endeavor by the Albinson Remainder Annuity Trust, a vital puzzle piece has been put in place for communication and public relations students here at Wesleyan. Students now have the opportunity for hands-on experience in the field, giving them an upper-hand in future searches for employment.
“These new and renovated spaces, along with the College’s official student newspaper, The Pharos, will provide all of the hands-on experience media studies college graduates need to give them the best opportunity for the employment and acceptance into advanced studies,” concluded Galarneau.
Before beginning his career as a system analyst and consultant for Booz Allen, Thomas Albinson, a 1976 Wesleyan graduate, spent most of his time as a student at Wesleyan as a late-night disc jockey for the radio station. As an active member of the WVWC-FM team, Albinson hosted a late-night rock show called “Isacoustic.” In addition to the upgrades to the radio station, media studies program, and School of Business, The Mary B. Albinson Remainder Annuity Trust has also funded new roofs for the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, Agnes Howard Hall, Wesley Chapel, and McCuskey Hall that were completed last summer.
Students interested in the field of communication may contact the Office of Admissions at 1-800-722-9933 or visit the website at www.wvwc.edu.
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