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Saturday, June 12, 2021


Valenti School of Communication to hold groundbreaking ceremony

Demolition for the multi-million dollar extension to the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication began last month, but the effort to increase awareness and support for the construction is just beginning.

A watercolor rendering shows the north face of the Valenti School of Communication building once construction is completed. | Courtesy of the School of Communication

The school will host a reunion party at the Alumni/Athletic Center on Sunday, followed by a groundbreaking ceremony at the School of Communication.

Officials hope the renovations will increase awareness of UH’s Communication program and also get alumni excited.

“It’s already energized a lot of people around the college to support us,” Director of the School of Communications Beth Olson said. “We’ve gotten a lot more attention than in the past and have raised scholarship money in addition to money for the building itself.”

Some members of the faculty feel the addition of the Lance T. Funston Communication Center will not only redefine the school physically, but mentally.

“Previously, we have been hidden in the courtyard and didn’t have any building identity. Well, now we are going to have some building identity, and it’s going to be really great,” said Julie Fix, the school’s director of undergraduate studies.

“Visually, I think it’s going to give us something we’ve never had, and that’s an entrance,” Fix said. “When you come in from parking lot 16, you’re going to see the name, and you’re going to see a door you can walk through.”

The new design will also help convey what is taught inside the buildings classrooms.

“One of the architects said that our building doesn’t communicate what we do, so that will be a huge bonus for us,” Olson said.

Event organizers hope to energize alumni through the reunion that will take place on Sunday. The school hosted reunions through the early part of the new millennium but has not hosted one in a while.

“We wanted to reconnect with alums and to thank them for their support of the program,” professor emeritus and event co-chair Ted Stanton said.

Much of the support received by alumni has gone towards the purchase of new equipment for the school and its students.

“All of these things will enhance the communications program, attract more students and encourage the alums to continue to support the program,” Stanton said.

Tickets for the event cost $25. To purchase tickets or for sponsorship info please call 713-743-9529.

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