Wallis Annenberg, CEO and chairman of the board on the Annenberg Foundation, spoke to college students, workers and alumni at USC Annenberg’s fiftieth-anniversary celebration on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of USC News)
The fiftieth Anniversary celebration of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism was held at Wallis Annenberg Hall Tuesday, and included speeches from Dean Willow Bay, President Carol Folt and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation Wallis Annenberg. Quite a few college students and visitor audio system additionally joined them.
“Plenty of individuals thought the concept of a faculty for communication was slightly bit foolish,” Annenberg mentioned whereas reminiscing throughout her speech.
Founded in 1971 with the assist of the late University Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg, the varsity aimed to offer college students with the instruments to guide the world into a brand new age of media.
Under the steerage of former dean Geoffery Cowan, the varsity formally built-in journalism in 1994. Ernest J. Wilson III served as dean from 2007 till 2017, throughout which he digitized this system for the trendy age and helped open Annenberg Hall. Then, for the 2009 faculty yr, the USC Board of Trustees voted to vary the varsity’s identify from the USC Annenberg School for Communication to the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Annenberg spoke about her philanthropy efforts and the way communication and the unfold of knowledge has turn out to be extra necessary than ever earlier than for the reason that faculty’s inception within the Nineteen Seventies.
“If we don’t study to harness [communication] and alter it to our biggest beliefs, our world might spin uncontrolled,” she mentioned.
Annenberg concluded her speech by underlining the varsity’s objectives going ahead.
“Around the world, our most basic establishments — democracy, human rights and a free press — are beneath siege,” she mentioned. “The means we struggle again is by coaching and sustaining the subsequent era of leaders, journalists, and communicators. We’re not simply educating communication at this faculty. We’re educating freedom itself.”
After her speech, Annenberg introduced Dean Bay and former deans Wilson III and Cowan with a present of $250,000 for his or her understanding of “what this faculty could possibly be, and assist[ing] it to vary with the altering instances.” Guests then made their method to an outside dinner.
Quite a few college students from numerous years and applications additionally spoke on the occasion. Ho-(*50*) Herbert Chang, a Ph.D. candidate in communications, mentioned his analysis on producing algorithms that may higher facilitate on-line conversations to protect the integrity of social media.
“As social media grows extra superior, branching into digital actuality with AI bots, I consider it’s analysis like mine that may have an effect on many years to come back to proactively design social media to protect the reality,” Chang mentioned.
He later elaborated on Annenberg’s future function in these adjustments.
“Annenberg could be very-properly positioned to guide the efforts that mix each analysis and algorithms and customers to debate issues about social media,” he mentioned.
Mariela Gomez, a primary-era grasp’s pupil in journalism, was born in Salinas, California to a household of farm staff. Growing up, she mentioned, the information she watched didn’t mirror her group.
“Crime information dominated the airways, failing to convey the resiliency, power and thriving of my household and group,” Gomez mentioned.
It was this expertise that impressed her to enter journalism, eager to convey extra variety to the sector and broaden the scope during which tales are advised.
“I hope to see [Annenberg] proceed singling out college students with various experiences, races, class, gender, all of that,” Gomez mentioned.
Mike Huckman, a visitor speaker and Annenberg alumnus — who since graduating in 1983 has labored in broadcast journalism for practically 20 years — mentioned the caliber of this system at Annenberg and its college students impressed him.
“I feel it’s locations like USC Annenberg the place the way forward for communication, of journalism, of digital, of all this stuff goes to be reimagined over and over and over,” Huckman mentioned.
Folt echoed a message of continued dedication in direction of reality and transparency all through the evening throughout her speech and with the scholar press.
“If we ever wanted individuals to face as much as misinformation and disinformation, individuals to struggle for reality, that is that second, and we will’t lose sight of the significance of discovery in getting that proper,” Folt mentioned. “This faculty was constructed for that.”