A large crowd gathered Tuesday afternoon in Presidents Hall for the rededication of Franklin Hall as the home of the Media School.
IU President Michael McRobbie, Executive Vice President and Provost Lauren Robel and former IU student and current sports broadcaster Joe Buck were present to speak about Franklin Hall and the new Media School before the rededication.
Buck, a Fox Sports broadcaster and seven-time Emmy award winner, received an honorary doctoral degree at the event.
Larry Singell, Executive Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, introduced Buck as both an accomplished broadcaster and philanthropist.
“Joe Buck captures the essence of what we hope for from Media School students,” Singell said.
“If my fraternity brothers could see me now,” Buck said to many laughs from the crowd upon presentation of his honorary degree.
Buck left the University at the age of 20 to follow in his father Jack Buck’s footsteps and pursue a career as a broadcaster for the St. Louis Cardinals. He joked that he landed the job due to nepotism but said picking IU was one of the best decisions he ever made in his life.
Buck addressed Media School students in the crowd to say much good can come from the internet and social media when it comes to newsgathering and charitable endeavors. He warned of their power to scare the opinion, ease and sense of humor out of people.
“It can affect your life, it’s affected mine in the past,” Buck said. “And it can also affect your work. What I’m saying is don’t let it.”
Buck repeatedly stated his pride in IU and said what the University is doing is nothing short of spectacular.
“There has never been a more exciting time in media than as we sit here in 2016,” Buck said.
Telecommunications, film studies, game design and journalism are some of the areas that comprise the Media School, which formed within the College of Arts and Sciences in 2014.
McRobbie said Franklin Hall, which was constructed as the University’s first library in 1907 before being used for administrative purposes, has once again become a center of vibrant activity.
President McRobbie said the creation of the Media School is in response to the dramatic change the media environment has undergone in recent years and provides students and faculty the technologies they need to adapt to this environment.
A 24-by-12-foot TV screen in the building’s commons and the Ken and Audrey Beckley Studio for TV broadcast classes and production workshops are just two of these new technologies available to students.
Dean of the Media School James Shanahan said a building like Franklin Hall that is newly renovated but still traditional is crucial for the University.
“Learning can occur in buildings both modest and spectacular,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan encouraged students to never forget their old homes, the variety of spaces like Ernie Pyle Hall and the Radio-TV building where media students have attended classes throughout the years.
“We now have a place that instantly calls us to be together,” Shanahan said.