A new era for Schieffer School
Schieffer School of Journalism cuts ribbon on new convergence lab.
by Kathryn Hopper
Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Luther King ‘62, ‘66; chairman of TCU Board of Trustees (left to right); Dean David Whillock, Ruth Carter Stevenson, John Lumpkin, Bob and Pat Schieffer, ‘59 and ‘61; and Deborah Ferguson ‘87 cut the ribbon outside the Moudy Building.
Bob Schieffer ‘59, his wife Pat Schieffer ‘61, along with other campus luminaries officially welcomed a new era of the College of Communication Tuesday, February 9, with purple scissors in hand.
The couple flew in from Washington, where he moderates CBS’ "Face the Nation," to attend a ribbon-cutting and dedication of the $5.6 million expansion and renovation of the College of Communication and Schieffer School of Journalism’s facilities in Moudy South. The expansion includes a 2,300 convergence center designed to prepare students to report the news over multiple news platforms.
In remarks made prior to the ribbon-cutting, Schieffer said it’s imperative to train students to report across all different types of media.
“We can’t just train these students to go out and be newspaper reporters or to be broadcast news reporters or to be freelance magazine writers, they have got to be familiar with all these various parts of journalism because they do not know, and we cannot tell them, what part of journalism they be working in, in the future,” he said.
Construction began last spring and thanks to the efforts of construction crews and the Physical Plant, work was largely completed in summer so students were able to begin using much of the addition in time for the fall semester.
“It looked like a tornado hit it,” said David Whillock, dean of the College of Communication. “We were moved around in closets, trying to find a place to land for a while. It was a remarkable renovation project that continues a little bit today."
Board of Trustees Chairman Luther King, '62, ’66 said the new facilities enhance TCU’s reputation and the student experience.
“We’re committed to providing our students with the breadth of the humanities, augmented by depth of professional training, all within outstanding facilities and with the top-of-the-line technology,” he said. “No where on our campus is this more evident that in our College of Communications.”
Deborah Ferguson, ’87, who anchors "NBC Today" on Channel 5, KXAS in Dallas-Fort Worth, served as master of ceremonies.
“Yesterday, when I was walking through the building, I was little jealous of all the fancy tools and the new computers and everything the students use today that I didn’t get to use,” she said.
Chancellor Victor J. Boschini gave a special thanks to Ruth Carter Stevenson, who was in the audience. She was responsible for choosing the Connecticut architectural firm of Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo and Associates, known for their “Glass Clad” look to design the James M. Moudy Building.
“The original building is because of you, the expansion of the building is because of you,” he said. “You and your family have permitted us to have a wonderful facility that has educated generations of students and will continue to educate generations of students.”
He said the addition has won raves from students, faculty and alumni, but that the real accomplishment was going on inside the walls.
“We’re very proud of our students, we’re proud of the people we produce.
But most of all we’re very proud that we produce ethical responsible professionals in every field of communication. That’s my favorite thing about our school,” he said.
Schieffer told the audience gathered for the dedication festivities in the Pepisco Theater, that it’s imperative to prepare future journalists who can present unbiased accounts of the news and not rely solely on bloggers or government reports.
“If we ever lose (journalists), we may still have a democracy, but it’ won’t be the kind of democracy we now enjoy,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.
“I think that our students will be the most well-prepared students entering the journalism field of any school in the United States.
“When I started in to think about this, I said ‘we don’t want to be a good journalism school, we want to be the best journalism school.’ Maybe we’ll never reach that, but we certainly won't reach it unless that is our goal and that is our goal."