Students celebrate new media and communication center, thank donors

Cabrini Rudnicki, News Editor

Editor’s Note: Amanda Bialek, who represented the student body in her speech at the dedication of the Karambelas Media and Communication Center, is the Life, Arts and Entertainment Editor for The Beacon.

On Aug. 31, Wilkes University opened the newest addition to its campus. The Karambelas Media and Communication Center opened on 141 S. Main St. next to UCom and across from Public Safety.

The Karambelas Media and Communication Center is now home to Communication Studies students and faculty, and houses all of the department’s co-curriculars – including the student run TV station, radio station and public relations organization – in one building.

The project, which started in August of 2016, was supported by, and named for, Clayton and Theresa Karambelas. The couple donated one of the largest donations in the school’s history.

While the couple asked that the exact figure of their donation not be disclosed, construction of the 14,000 square foot space cost a total of $4 million.

Also in the building is cutting edge technology for the different media platforms, including a radio studio, a centralized newsroom, a television studio, and classrooms with cameras installed in order to better monitor public speaking.

The dedication of the center included speeches from Thomas MacKinnon, vice president of university advancement; Dr. Mark Stine, the chair of communication studies; Amanda Bialek, a student in the department; University President Patrick F. Leahy, as well as Clayton and Theresa Karambelas.

At the opening, students from the department also had a chance to personally express gratitude. Around 45 students entered the room at MacKinnon’s cue, shaking hands with the Theresa and Clayton, as well as the other speakers.

As well as acknowledging the Karambelases, the future was also a much discussed topic at the opening.

“This building has been designed to create a synergy and atmosphere of collaboration, which we believe will lead to hundreds of creative and exciting projects,” Stine said.

Student Amanda Bialek, a communication studies major, showed enthusiasm and appreciation for the center on behalf of her fellow students.

“It [The Karambelas Media and Communication Center] will be a home for thinking, for learning, for exploring, for experimenting, for researching, for creating, and for collaborating for many years to come.”

Leahy beamed when it was his chance to speak at the event.

“We hope for nothing more for you students to become individuals like Clayton and Theresa Karambelas,” he said.

The Karambelases also had chances to speak, both honored and excited to see the fruition of their hard work.

“I want you to know that I was reduced to tears at the beginning of this metamorphosis,” said Theresa Karambelas in her emotional speech, “but at the same time it was exhilarating to see the addition to the always evolving Wilkes campus.”

The Karambelases have donated to a number of other projects on campus, including the Henry Student Center atrium, the Darte digital marquee, the pergola on the Fenner Quadrangle, the Cohen Science Center’s staircase, and the Karambelas East Campus Gateway.

Clayton Karambelas had graduated with a business administration degree from Wilkes in 1949, and he and his wife had gone on to own businesses such as Boston Candy Shop & Restaurant and C.K Coffee. The two were previously honored the University’s President’s Medal in 2016.

Communication students throughout campus have been ecstatic about the opportunities that await them because of the new addition to campus.

Jackyla Moye, a Sophomore Communications major, remarked on the beauty of the building.

“I think the media center is very beautiful. It has a high-tech feeling to it.”

As well as the Communications department, the building will also house the Sordoni Art Gallery, set to open in October.