IU inaugurated its newest school on the Bloomington campus and dedicated a sculpture in a celebration Friday afternoon.
IU President Michael McRobbie addressed a crowd of more than 200 people to introduce the Media School at President’s Hall in Franklin Hall.
The Media School, established July 1 of this year, is a conglomeration of the School of Journalism, the telecommunications department and parts of the communication and culture department. All are now part of the College of Arts and Sciences.
The Media School will be housed in Franklin Hall when the renovations are completed in summer of 2016.
IU Provost Lauren Robel, Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Larry Singell and professor of telecommunications Maria Elizabeth Grabe all addressed the crowd on the challenges and hopes for the Media School.
In her speech, Grabe said it was not easy to convince faculty to work together, noting three failed attempts at convergence in ?the past.
“Be sure, in the making of this Media School there were epic displays of dissent and resistance,” Grabe said. “But here we are. More, not less, content.”
After the speeches and words of success and celebration, ?McRobbie called everyone to stand and inaugurate the Media School and the sculpture Ernie Pyle at Work.
“May all who come here to learn, to teach, to work and to serve bring still greater contributions to the advancement of knowledge and to the spirit of achievement that define Indiana University,” McRobbie said.
The ceremony also dedicated a new sculpture depicting Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ernie Pyle, who attended IU but left before he could graduate to take a job with the LaPorte Herald.
The sculpture portraying Pyle at a desk with his typewriter was installed Oct. 9.
Lesa Hatley Major, associate dean of the Media School, said the reaction to the sculpture has been ?positive.
“For those of us who have been involved in planning the Media School, especially those with a journalism background, seeing Ernie come home has been surprisingly emotional,” she said in an interview last week.
Owen Johnson, former journalism professor at IU, said Pyle would think the sculpture is funny.
“He would laugh about it, but he would understand why it had to be put there,” Johnson said. “It’s important to alumni and represents a tie between past and ?present.”
Johnson said even when Pyle was the managing editor of the Washington Daily News, he understood the importance of making the news attractive to readers through visual play and sharp ?writing.
“He was aware that there was much more to journalism and news communication than writing,” Johnson said. “He was very much aware of the importance of technology in journalism.”