Sign does no justice to Valenti’s accomplishments

Jack J. Valenti was an important man during and after his time as a student at UH. Among the many roles he fulfilled as an undergraduate, he worked for The Daily Cougar and was president of the Student Government Association.

Following his death in April 2007, the School of Communication announced at its 2008 scholarship banquet that it would be renamed in his honor, and there is no one more fitting for this tribute.

Valenti used the education he received at UH to hone his communication talents. After graduating in 1946, he served as an assistant to former President Johnson and eventually became the head of the Motion Picture Association of America, where he developed a system of rating films that continues to be used today.

He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University in 2002.

Honoring his contributions to UH as a student and alumnus, by naming his former school after him, is the least that can be done. Any sign bearing his name should be just as notable as he was in life.

However, the newly-unveiled sign on the communication building is hardly befitting of a man of Valenti’s stature.

The shiny letters catch students’ eyes and bring attention to an otherwise bland exterior, but the strips of metal behind the letters cheapen the sign. The strips are necessary to keep the letters on the building, but should have been attached in a more subtle and sophisticated manner.

The installing of the sign this late in the semester is also confusing, as the communication building will be renovated beginning January 2010, making the sign only temporary.

Regardless of its temparality, a sign suitable of Valenti’s achievements and renown should have been created from the very beginning.

Renaming the School of Communication after a man who gave so much time and talent to UH as an undergraduate and alumnus is understandable and expected. Following renovations in January, the sign bearing Valenti’s name should be just as noteworthy as the man he was.

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