FIRST IMPRESSIONS MATTER. AND THE FRONT DOOR OF A BUILDING SETS THE TONE. The main entrance to the home of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications has always been at the northeast corner of the building, facing Sunflower Road. When I was a KU broadcast journalism student in the mid 1970s, those of us in radio and TV came in through the doors at the northwest corner. This understated entry for the radio and TV studios was more convenient for us, especially with all the hours we spent in the building, called Flint Hall then. We would finish a broadcast and then dive into writing and editing pieces for the next day, often staying until 10 p.m. Even with those late hours, the Kansan staff was still hard at work producing the next morning’s paper when I was on my way out the door.
I remember the building being uncomfortable at times — hot in August and not quite warm enough in January — so I’m thrilled that today’s journalism students and faculty will benefit from the system upgrades and building improvements to Stauffer-Flint Hall currently underway. The new entrance will face Jayhawk Boulevard and give the storied building a stronger presence. It will include a plaza with lighting and digital projection that highlights the round-the-clock nature of journalism and the thought-provoking, important work happening inside.
The updated learning spaces, collaboration areas and state-of-the-art studios are truly the core of the project. These modern workspaces will provide the first professional experience for many students. You can read more about the renovation here.
A lot has changed since I was broadcasting the latest news on KUOK, the cable AM radio station run by journalism students. The station was so limited in range, it was only heard in the residence halls. Regardless, we worked hard to produce programs worthy of the J-School’s longstanding reputation.
And no matter how different things look these days, Stauffer-Flint Hall and the university still feel like home. I think it’s because students remain the focus at KU. So much care is given to provide the best educational experience for each and every Jayhawk.
P.S. As you read this issue of KU Giving, Rosita Elizalde-McCoy, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing, is starting to enjoy her retirement after 14 years of service to KU Endowment. We have benefitted from her leadership, dedication and talent. I want to thank her for a job well done and wish her much happiness.