Wilkes University was honored for their newest campus facility, which enhances academic programming while extending the campus footprint into downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Wilkes received the 2017 Pride of Place award from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce at the Chamber’s annual dinner held on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Plains Twp. The University was recognized for the Clayton and Theresa Karambelas Media and Communication Center and the new Sordoni Art Gallery, both housed at 141 South Main Street.
The Pride of Place Awards are presented to businesses and organizations that have improved the physical environment of the area through new construction, restoration, renovation and environmental enhancement. 141 South Main Street transformed key downtown space into a premier educational asset.
The 14,000-square-foot Karambelas Media and Communication Center 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 workrooms for the student organizations, as well as state-of-the-art television and radio studios, an audio room, a video editing room, faculty offices and classrooms. It is named in honor of Clayton and Theresa Karambelas, who made the largest gift in Wilkes history to support the project.Neighboring the center is the $3 million, 7,000-square-foot Sordoni Art Gallery that enriches the arts for students, faculty and staff while contributing to cultural life in the local community. More than double the size of the former gallery, it is outfitted for high-end national art exhibits and includes versatile opportunities for teaching and learning. Moveable walls allow the space to be uniquely configured for each exhibition, and convenient on-site parking means improved accessibility for art enthusiasts and community members. Wilkes reopened the gallery in Oct. 2017 with a show featuring the works of famed Pennsylvania artist, Andy Warhol. “15 Minutes: From Image to Icon” includes renowned Warhol works featuring Marilyn Monroe, the Flowers and Campbell’s Soup.