By Gerard Flanagan, news writer/photographer/social media, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Jeannie Clark summed up the goal of Campbellsville University’s new Mass Communication Center as student focused.
“Our goal is to provide practical applications for students so they’re able to find careers and employment in the industry post-graduation,” Clark, general manager of WLCU-TV/FM, assistant professor of broadcasting and director of broadcast services, said at a ribbon cutting for the new Mass Communication Center Oct. 8.
“We’ve built this facility with that in mind. We’ve tried very hard to keep students first, no matter what, so we can make sure we are providing the service we were meant to be.”
Clark said, in 2008, the university’s television and radio changed its call letters to WLCU—the idea of the Rev. Al Hardy, who was the administrative head of WLCU at that time. The call letters stand for “We love Campbellsville University.”
“We’re also hoping for more opportunities for growth as we move along,” Clark said. “We’re not done yet. We’re going to continue to grow. We’re going to keep this program current and move it forward and keep track with the industry.”
Ginny Flanagan, special assistant to the president and founder of the TV station, said, at one time, to broadcast basketball games live, television staff had to run cable from the President’s Home and through the bleachers at the Powell Athletic Center.
Flanagan said the late Ed McGuire, who worked as a volunteer at the station while employed at Kentucky Educational Television, helped get the TV station up and running.
“I had wonderful people to work with and wonderful support from the administration,” Flanagan said. “It was a great experience. All of us have pulled cables and stood on trucks and hammered and nailed a lot. We wish you the very best of luck. We are thrilled with this beautiful facility.”
More than 30 years ago, Dr. Benji Kelly, vice president for development, said he took his first journalism class in the basement of the Alumni Building with two other students who were taught by Stan McKinney, who is now the chair of the Department of Mass Communication.
“It thrills my heart that, now 30 years later, we actually have a first-class facility our students can come and be educated in and be successful,” Kelly said.
According to Kelly, over the past 20 years, Campbellsville University has worked to upgrade its facilities.
“A prime example is what we have here,” Kelly said. “This is a first-class facility. We should be able to attract the best and brightest. If a student were to walk in the door today interested in communications, they should be able to sign up almost immediately.”
“Now, where do we go from here? I look forward to what the future holds for our Communication Department, but I am so thrilled we are here now.”
McKinney is associate professor of journalism and adviser to the Campus Times newspaper, as well as chair of the Department of Mass Communication. He started his career at Campbellsville University in Druien Hall before moving to Carter Hall.
“We had classes all over campus,” McKinney said. “This is the first time we are under one roof, and that in itself is such a blessing.”
The new Mass Communication Center, as well as the faculty of the Mass Communication Center, are both top notch, according to McKinney.
“The facilities we have here — there may be other buildings in the state that are larger, but I don’t think there are any that are better,” McKinney said. “I also think we have the best faculty in the state.”
Dr. H. Keith Spears, interim president for Campbellsville University, said the media world is constantly changing.
“The whole concept of taking a message and putting it into a medium that goes into people’s homes is really astounding,” Spears said. “That’s a product really of this last 100 years. In history, broadcasting has also been around a very smidge, and the changes that are taking place today, we wonder what will happen tomorrow, because the next new, new thing will be coming right down the pike.
“It’s important a university like Campbellsville be able to adapt to that. We have a facility here that will adapt.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.