Toast to 'A New Beginning'

  • Former administrator Billy I. Ross built the mass communications program in its early and foundational years and was largely responsible for the building of the original Mass Communications Building.

    Former administrator Billy I. Ross built the mass communications program in its early and foundational years and was largely responsible for the building of the original Mass Communications Building.

  • C.R. “Choc” Hutcheson is a longtime supporter of the college whose donations for scholarships bring quality education to students.

    C.R. “Choc” Hutcheson is a longtime supporter of the college whose donations for scholarships bring quality education to students.

  • Wendell Mayes Jr., former Texas Tech University Board of Regents chairperson, dedicated the original building and has been a major figure in shaping both the college and the university, especially through his support for student scholarships.

    Wendell Mayes Jr., former Texas Tech University Board of Regents chairperson, dedicated the original building and has been a major figure in shaping both the college and the university, especially through his support for student scholarships.

  • Chancellor Kent Hance raised the funds for the expansion of the college into its new home.

    Chancellor Kent Hance raised the funds for the expansion of the college into its new home.

  • Dean Hudson is surprised by the unveiling of his portrait.

    Dean Hudson is surprised by the unveiling of his portrait.

  • Dean Hudson is surprised by the unveiling of his portrait.

    Dean Hudson is surprised by the unveiling of his portrait.

  • Champagne flutes with etched college logo.

    Champagne flutes with etched college logo.

  • Champagne Toast

    Champagne Toast

  • Champagne Toast

    Champagne Toast

by Emily Pellegrini, photos by Riannon Rowley


During a busy weekend in which the National Board members visited Lubbock, the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication celebrated the opening of its new building with a special dedication.

Chancellor Kent Hance opened the dedication, calling the building a "first-class building." Hance said the building renovation project totaled $25 million.

"After people see what we've done here, they're not skeptical, they're proud," Hance said.

What the college calls its new home is actually the previous Rawls College of Business Administration Building. Texas Tech University built new facilities for the Rawls College on the north side of campus, allowing the university to renovate the building and move the College of Media & Communication into a much larger and technologically advanced space.

Interim President Lawrence Schovanec said he is proud of the college and the connection that the dean and faculty members build with media and communication alumni. Founding Dean Jerry Hudson, Ph.D., said alumni should be very proud of the program he has helped to build.

"This building will serve as a great resource for students and faculty and will benefit them for many years to come," Schovanec said.

Quote from Interim President Lawrence Schovanec Billy Ross, Ph.D., revisited the history of how the Department of Mass Communications began.

Ross said many universities did not have mass communications departments set up in the 1960s, so he researched other universities that had individual mass communications schools in an effort to model a department at Texas Tech.

In 1970, Texas Tech added the Department of Mass Communications to the campus, opening a new $3.5 million building, to have the most advanced technology labs for educating media students.

The $3.5 million building served the Department of Mass Communications, and later the College of Mass Communications, for 41 years.

Ross said the greatest improvement with the opening of the newly renovated building is the cohesion of the classrooms, labs, and media outlets: the radio station, the television station, and the newspaper area.

C.R. "Choc" Hutcheson reminisced on the first home for four journalism faculty and classes in the old Journalism Building. He described the new College of Media & Communication Building as a marvel, as he admired all the changes and advances the building and program have gone through.

"The world will little know or long remember what we say here tonight, but this memory will serve to provide opportunities for higher education, for many years to come," Hutcheson said.

Quote from Wendell Mayes Jr. Wendell Mayes Jr. spoke at the 1970 building dedication and was invited back to speak at the dedication of the college's new building dedication.

"I was pleased to speak at the dedication of the old Mass Communications Building 36 years ago, and I'm pleased to speak at this occasion, and to dedicate this magnificent building to those who will teach and to those who will learn within its walls,” Mayes said. "The light of the new building has been turned on, and I'm sure that Tech will leave the light on for us."

Time and media have changed, Mayes said, and the college's new home has addressed the changes in a positive and efficient way.

After Mayes finished speaking and before the toast was made, a surprise not documented on the program was revealed.

Unknown to most, a portrait of Hudson, painted by artist Paul Milosevich, was presented to Hudson as both a dedication congratulations and a retirement gift.

Hudson said he was shocked but very touched and humbled to have received the gift.

Hudson said he did not want the dedication focused on him, but the college and alumni agreed that he has helped the college grow and succeed. Moving the college into a larger, newly renovated building is an accomplishment worthy of honor.

As Hudson expressed his gratitude for the gift, the night was made more special because all of his immediate family members traveled to Lubbock to share in all of Hudson’s achievements.

After Hudson was finished thanking the guests for the gift, the dedication toast was given by Texas Tech Provost Bob Smith.
Smith and the audience joined together in toasting to "a new beginning."

"More important than the details of this building is its purpose," Mayes said. "Even in these two splendid corners, the purpose of the college remains unchanged: to educate leaders in media and communication who will use their skills to improve our country."

"That's been the purpose of the college from the beginning of the mass communications program in 1970." mc



Emily Pellegrini is a junior journalism major from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Riannon Rowley is a December 2012 electronic media and communications graduate from El Paso, Texas.


Return to Mass Communicator home Next Page