$2.5 million buys digital renovation

The Jack J. Valenti School of Communication is nearing the final stages of a year-long, multi-million dollar fundraising campaign to expand and update its decades-old facilities.

In Spring 2008 a scholarship and $2.5 million capital campaign was launched by UH development officials and friends of alumnus Jack Valenti.

The renovation will create a state-of-the-art media production operation, including larger digital editing suites, electronic newsgathering equipment, an advanced broadcast control center and a studio expansion at the northeast corner of the existing structure.

Tentatively named the Lance Funston Media Center, the new building will honor the alumnus and CEO of Telamerica Inc. Funston, a donor and friend of the Valenti family, provided the initial funds that propelled the campaign forward.

Board of Regents Chairman Welcome Wilson Sr. was a longtime friend to Valenti, as was project committee Co-Chair Ted Dinerstein. They have also been working on the capital campaign.

‘(The co-chairs) have done a remarkable job,’ School of Communication Director Beth Olson said. ‘We owe more than I can say to their efforts.’

Since the school’s founding, the entire communication industry has undergone a dramatic technological revolution in the fields of information distribution.

In order to remain competitive in a changing media environment, today’s communication graduates are expected to be technically savvy media producers and strategically creative thinkers with strong leadership skills.

‘The project benefits students directly,’ Ward Booth, media production facilities manager at the School of Communication, said. ‘UH has so many respected departments with excellent stories to tell. With these renovations, the School of Communication will become equally excellent in order to tell those stories.’

For more information on the plans, visit

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