The $4 Million State-Of-The-Art Facility Will Be Home To The Award-Winning Communication Studies Program
Wilkes University’s newest facility, the Karambelas Media and Communication Center, officially opened with a dedication ceremony on Aug. 31. The $4 million, 14,000-square-foot center will house the communication studies program, consolidating all scholarship and activities into one modern facility where students can collaborate across media disciplines.
“The completion of the Karambelas Media and Communication Center continues to position Wilkes University as a unique institution, offering all of the activities of a large university in the atmosphere of a small college,” said University President Patrick F. Leahy. “State-of-the-art equipment combined with hands-on learning opportunities with faculty experts prepares our students to be leaders in the communication field.”
The center is named in honor of Clayton and Theresa Karambelas who made one of the largest gifts in Wilkes history to support the project. Clayton Karambelas earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wilkes College in 1949. He and his wife Theresa are the previous owners of the Boston Candy Shop & Restaurant and C.K. Coffee. In 2016, they were honored with the University’s President’s Medal, presented annually to individuals whose personal and professional lives reflect the highest aspirations of Wilkes University.
The Karambelases have previously supported the Henry Student Center atrium, Dorothy Dickson Darte Center digital marquee, pergola on the Fenner Quadrangle, Cohen Science Center grand staircase and the Karambelas East Campus Gateway, which connects South Main St. to the center of campus.
“Few have been as dedicated to the advancement and transformation of Wilkes University than Clayton and Theresa Karambelas,” Leahy continued. “This investment not only highlights their dedication to Wilkes students, but it also shows their commitment to downtown Wilkes-Barre. A marquee facility bearing their name, adjacent to the Karambelas East Campus Gateway on South Main Street, is so fitting for this inspirational couple.”
The 14,000-square-foot center is located at 141 South Main St., continuing to expand Wilkes’ presence in downtown Wilkes-Barre. It brings the communication studies departments’ co-curricular activities under one roof. These include WCLH Radio, Wilkes Now Television, The Beacon student newspaper, the student-run public relations agency Zebra Communications and the speech and debate team. The facility includes offices and work rooms for the student organizations, as well as state-of-the-art television and radio studios, audio rooms, faculty offices and classrooms.
- new, high-definition equipment;
- a radio studio visible from the street;
- a centralized newsroom to serve all student media;
- a high-definition television studio with theater-style viewing;
- classrooms equipped with ceiling-mounted cameras for critiquing public speaking classes;
- a production control room, which manages the composition of outgoing television programming.
“Convergence in the media and in communication-related fields is a reality that’s upon us. Our center will give students the opportunity to work in an integrated environment designed to address the collaborative skills they need in order to thrive in today’s communication profession,” said Mark Stine, professor and chair of the communications studies program.
The communication studies major at Wilkes University offers four concentrations: media production, multimedia journalism, rhetorical studies or strategic communication. Each student’s course of study features core communications requirements as well as classes specific to these fields. Concepts taught in the classroom, coupled with hands-on learning experiences through the department’s wide range of co-curricular and extracurricular activities, helps Wilkes graduates stand out in the world of communications.
The Karambelas Media and Communication Center will share space with the Sordoni Art Gallery which opens Oct. 6.