The College of Communication and the Arts’ first convocation ceremony on Oct. 26 in the Jubilee Hall Auditorium, was “a big deal”, as SHU alumnus (1976) keynote speaker and ESPN’s longest-tenured on-air employee Bob Ley put it.
Jubilee Auditorium was filled with energy and anticipation for the event. The new College’s faculty paced around the room before the ceremony, and students majoring in everything from art history to communication studies filled nearly every seat.
Interim Dean Deirdre Yates gave the opening address, immediately following a video packed with student interviews describing why they love SHU’s Communication and the Arts programs. This video is the first in a series of videos to be produced by the College.
SHU alumnus Paul Ward (1986), entertainment executive and Nickelodeon’s former Executive Vice President of Primetime, Acquisitions, and Strategy, gave an address on the importance of the Communication Honors Alumni Mentor Program (CHAMP), which pairs current Seton Hall students with alumni mentors in their respective fields.
Ward’s former CHAMP mentee, Brenna Fleis (2015), spoke about the benefits she received from CHAMP. She said the most important piece of advice Ward gave to her was to end every interview with a prospective employer by saying, “I really want this job.”
Ley, an ESPN personality since 1979, began his journalism career with Seton Hall’s own WSOU.
Ley stressed the importance of the College of Communication and the Arts becoming its own entity, as the disciplines it offers are more relevant than ever.
“The most rewarding experience we have is when we can offer support, guidance, and networking to a fellow Pirate,” Ley said, reiterating Ward’s words on the importance of CHAMP.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, attendees led a candle-lit procession to the Bishop Dougherty University Center to take pictures in front of the College’s mural that reads, “Your passion. Your calling. Your future.”
Dean Yates invited everyone in attendance to “reflect on what we hope to accomplish” as a new College.
“It makes me think that taking this minor was actually a good thing,” Ryan Dziuba, senior, said about his new Public Relations minor.
Riya Arora, senior public relations major, said that this transition is “finally giving light and appreciation to an underappreciated and important major.”
Brianna Bernath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org