I’m not a major donor to my university. I don’t have enough money for the school to name a building in my honor, so I try to do the next best thing. Every year, I return to Ohio University ( not Ohio State ) and speak to the next generation of journalists during its yearly spring conference at the prestigious Scripps school of Journalsim.
I’m always curious to see how things have changed over the years since I graduated and each time I go back, I am pleasantly surprised. This year was no different. While some of the same building are still there, there is a new student center which is the state of the art … and the other buildings have every modern convenience.
The recently built Charles Ping Center for student athletics
The Convocation Center – home to Ohio Bobcat basketball and to several student dorm rooms
One stop I always make on my visit back to Athens, Ohio is the radio-television building. The six-floor structure is home to the communications program as well as the broadcast facilities for WOUB TV and radio – the school’s public broadcast stations staff almost entirely by students. This was my first exposure to public broadcasting.
Among the upgrades to the facility was the newsroom – soon to be named after Fox News founder and Ohio University graduate Roger Ailes. Take a look inside:
The updated newsroom at my alma mater, Ohio University
It’s one of the most amazing newsrooms I have ever seen. It’s got 50-inch flat screen HDTVs, the latest in technological equipment and its all digital. I know commercial stations that don’t have this stuff.
However, the best part of my visit was meeting the students. These young people are the future of our industry and they are well prepared. They have grown up in the digital age and are prepared to be successful. I’m proud that I can come back and impart some knowledge but, in many ways, they are better prepared for the future than I was when I graduated. That’s what makes an almunist of any school so proud: to know things are better for the students of today than it was for them.