Wilkes University unveiled plans on Saturday for the Clayton and Theresa Karambelas Media Center, which will house its communication studies program. The center, which was announced at the University’s Founders Gala 2016 at the Westmoreland Club, honors the Karambelases for giving Wilkes one of the largest gifts in its history. The new center at 141 S. Main St., adjacent to the campus Gateway, will further enhance Wilkes’ presence on Wilkes-Barre’s South Main Street.
Clayton and Theresa Karambelas, who are residents of Kingston, Pa., also were presented with the University’s Presidents Medal at Saturday’s event. The medal is presented to an individual whose personal and professional lives reflect the highest aspirations of Wilkes University. University President Patrick F. Leahy said that the new media center reflects the couple’s long-time commitment to Wilkes students.
“Wilkes has few friends more loyal than Clayton and Theresa Karambelas,” Leahy said. “Their support over the years has provided additions to campus enjoyed by generations of students. With the Karambelas Media Center, they are ensuring that students who participate in classes and in some of our most popular co-curricular activities will have an outstanding educational experience and be well-prepared to enter the job market.”
The new 17,726-square-foot center will bring the communication studies departments’ co-curricular activities under one roof. These include WCLH Radio, television studios, The Beacon student newspaper, the student-run public relations agency Zebra Communications and the speech and debate team. The facility will include separate offices and work rooms for the student organizations, as well as state-of-the-art television and radio studios, audio room, video editing room, faculty offices and classrooms. The University previously had announced that one wing of the building will be the new home of the Sordoni Art Gallery.
Clayton Karambelas earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wilkes College in 1949. He and Theresa are previous owners of the Boston Candy Shop & Restaurant and C.K. Coffee, and current owners of C.K. Consulting. Their passion for their community has benefited many area organizations, including the YMCA with a donation to create the men’s fitness center, the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Masonic Temple Country Club in Dallas, Pa., the F.M. Kirby Center and their church.
Projects at Wilkes that have been supported by the Karambelases include the Web of Science, one of the world’s best scholarly databases. They also supported the Henry Student Center atrium, Dorothy Dickson Darte Center digital marquee, greenway pergola, Cohen Science Center grand staircase, and the new campus gateway. Clayton and Theresa have served on numerous boards and committees at Wilkes and throughout the community.
Proceeds from the annual Founders Gala support the First Generation Scholarship Fund, established to provide additional scholarship funding to first-generation students. Established in 2014, the Founders Gala and First Generation Scholarship Fund ensure that the University continues to open opportunities that lead to success. Since its inception, the event has raised nearly $1,000,000.
About Wilkes University:
Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university is on a mission to create one of the great small universities, offering all of the programs, activities, and opportunities of a large, research university in the intimate, caring, and mentoring environment of a small, liberal arts college, at a cost that is increasingly competitive with public universities. The Economist has named the University 25th in the nation for the value of its education to graduates. In addition to 41 undergraduate majors,Wilkes offers the doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education and doctor of pharmacy degrees and more than a dozen master’s degree programs, including the master of business administration and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu