New communications center planned for Goshen College

This image from video shows the interior of the proposed Center for Media Arts and Journalism at Goshen College. 

GOSHEN — In fall 2020, Goshen College will open a new center for the communications department in the west wing of the Newcomer Center, bringing together television, radio, print and other media under one roof.

Currently, the college’s communication department’s media enterprises have been spread out around campus.

The Center for Media Arts and Journalism will co-locate the school’s TV, radio and journalism programs. The new communication center will be located in the west wing of Newcomer Center on the south end of campus, which formerly housed Mennonite Church USA Archives.

The studio for Globe TV, which more than once has edged out Ball State for statewide honors, is tucked away in the basement of the college’s Good Library. The on-air studio for 91.1FM The Globe, WGCS, which has been named best collegiate radio station in the country three times, is at the top of narrow, winding stairs in the college’s Union Building. And the newsroom for The Goshen College Record, honored as the best newspaper in the state in the college division two of the past three years, is through a recessed doorway, hidden between Kulp residence hall and the Westlawn Cafeteria.

President Rebecca Stoltzfus, who identified finding a home for communication as a strategic priority shortly after her inauguration in early 2018, announced the building plans at an all-employee retreat in August.

Several donors gave lead gifts that have made it possible to begin the $1.18 million building project, while fundraising continues for equipment, furnishings and an endowment benefiting the department, said Todd Yoder, the vice president for institutional advancement.

The communication center is scheduled to open in August of 2020.

Jason Samuel, who chose to attend Goshen College in 1988 in large part because of WGCS and climbed those station steps every semester, returned to serve as general manager and a professor in 2003.

“Most of our co-curriculars predate the communication department, making this our first collective home after more than 60 years of separation,” he said. “This new communication center will position Goshen College as an educational and industry leader.”

A television studio will be next door to the radio studio, and a newsroom will be right down the hall. The Newcomer Center wing will include offices for student leaders, a lounge and a meeting room. Faculty will remain nearby in their current offices.

The Goshen College chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America will be engaged in all the enterprises, as it manages social media, events and more. Pat Lehman, a longtime professor of communication, established the chapter in 2012.

“I am excited about the synergy which will happen as students and co-curriculars are all connected in the same location and creative ideas for projects and stories can be easily and immediately shared,” Lehman said.

The west wing of Newcomer Center had housed Mennonite Church archives since 1959. In 2017, the church moved the archives to the Mennonite Church USA offices in Elkhart. Mennonite Historical Library and Goshen College archival materials, which were also stored in Newcomer, have recently been moved to other locations on campus in anticipation of the renovation.

“Collaboration is one of the most important skills we teach our students how to do,” said Kyle Hufford, associate professor of communication and general manager of FiveCore Media Productions. “This new space will give us a place where this can happen organically and more effectively. It will be the home that our department has dreamed about for a long time. I cannot wait to have this space available for students next year.”

Construction on the project, encompassing 3,700 square feet, is expected to begin this winter and DJ Construction, based in Goshen, has been selected as the general contractor.

“We can already glimpse the ways in which this dedicated space will transform communication at Goshen, especially the college experiences and contributions of our students,” said Duane Stoltzfus, who also serves as adviser to The Record. “In this Newcomer Center wing, we hope joy and learning will meet up on the way toward educational excellence.”

Source: Goshen College

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