Expanding Our Range
When Johannes Gutenberg invented the first modern printing press in the 15th century, he couldn't have imagined that, for the next few centuries, his invention would be the primary mode of spreading information. Yet, another epic information renaissance has emerged: one that demands individuals who are conversant in a range of communication skills and platforms—vocal, aural, written, visual, digital, interactive.
In response, Marywood University will integrate emerging media and performing arts capabilities under one roof with extensive renovations and a new addition to the Sette LaVerghetta Center for the Performing Arts. Plans to expand the range of the facility have begun in earnest.
The prospect of a learning environment in which storytelling can take any shape or form has captured the full attention of Collier Parker, M.F.A., Dean of the Insalaco College of Creative and Performing Arts. While discussing plans for the facility, Dean Parker spread a stack of papers, including facts and figures, floor plans, and illustrations, across a table in Nazareth Hall to highlight what the building renovation and addition will look like when complete.
"This is the right direction to go, and I think it's going to give us a range of possibilities," he said, showing the building plans. "We will begin to see a lot more synergy within departments."
Having the proper facilities available for students is essential, Dean Parker insisted. Upon its completion, the 54,000-square foot building will include a high-definition television studio, a black box theater, a recording studio, and a dance studio, among other things. The most exciting prospect, however, will be the opportunity for students in different departments—music, theatre, dance, and communication arts—to intermingle, share ideas, and create a vibrant learning environment.
"This is being done for the future," Dean Parker said, "for the future of Marywood, for the future of communication and performing arts, and, most importantly, for the future of our students."
What's more, the community will also benefit from the renovation. There are plans for The Wood Word, Marywood's student-run newspaper, to have more of a community focus, covering stories and events about the surrounding area.
And that is just the beginning.
Students will have the opportunity to utilize emerging technologies in covering campus and community events. Brielle Mayle '13, a sophomore in the digital media and broadcast program, says the new facility and innovative equipment will have a far-reaching impact.
"I think this new facility will really enhance Marywood's name," she said.
Dr. Douglas Lawrence, Chair of the Communication Arts Department, looks forward to the facility upgrades with enthusiasm and believes this project will transform his program in particular.
"This means that we will be viewed as a state-of-the-art, contemporary, first-class department with a state-of-the-art, contemporary, first-class facility," Dr. Lawrence said, as he discussed the impact of the project. "It will place us in the forefront of communication programs."
For future students, Ms. Mayle has one short piece of advice: there is more to come. She anticipates that the expanded capabilities of the new facility will be a strong addition to Marywood and its performing and communication arts programs, certifying the University's place among the digital elite.
If Johannes Gutenberg were alive today, he'd be impressed.
“This is being done for the future–for the future of Marywood, for the future of communication and performing arts, and, most importantly, for the future of our students.”
The new facility and innovative equipment will have a far-reaching impact. I think this new facility will really enhance Marywood’s name.”