URI to open $6.5 million Harrington Hub with ceremonial film cutting Oct. 21

New communication center houses latest video, editing, audio technology

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KINGSTON, R.I. – October 18, 2016 – Media executives from such well-known companies as NBCUniversal, CBS, IBM and HBO, among many others, and Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation will join University of Rhode Island officials, students, faculty and alumni Friday, Oct. 21 for the official opening of the Harrington Hub for Global Leadership in Communication and Media.

URI President David M. Dooley will join Richard Harrington, ’73 Hon. ’02, the benefactor for whom URI’s Harrington School of Communication and Media and the new hub are named, for a ceremonial film cutting at Ranger Hall, 10 Ranger Road, on the Kingston Campus. Activities start at 10:15 a.m. Friday in a tent on the Quadrangle near Ranger Road, with on-the-scene, live-streamed interviews of arriving guests conducted by Harrington School students. The speaking program will begin at 11 a.m. Tours of the Hub will be given by students and members of the Harrington School’s Executive Advisory Board.

The $6.5 million project includes a full transformation of the first floor of Ranger Hall and infrastructure improvements throughout the building, such electrical upgrades, installation of fiber optic cable, access for people with disabilities and fire protection upgrades.

In addition to the latest equipment for video and audio editing and production, all of which allows students and faculty to work together whether they are in the same room, across the hall or across campus, the facility incorporates the latest sound and light proofing. There is a professional level “cage” for the secure and organized storage school’s cameras, recording devices, lights, tripods and other equipment required in a leading University communication and media center. The Hub also has state-of-art classroom space, film screening room and advising center.

The project has turned one of the campus’ historic granite buildings, which opened in 1913, into a dynamic teaching and learning center for all of the departments in the Harrington School–communication studies, film/media, journalism, public relations, writing and rhetoric and library and information studies.

Among the guests at the event will be U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen James Langevin and David Cicilline, and Meredith Vieira, journalist, talk show and game show host, of NBC Universal, and one of several members of the Harrington School’s Executive Advisory Board, who will be in attendance. The program will feature Harrington School student, Leticia Simone, a senior public relations major, who was born in Brazil and now lives in East Greenwich.

The combination of the new Harrington Hub, the global nature of the Harrington faculty and the depth of experience and involvement of board members makes the school a national leader, according to the school’s interim director Adam Roth, associate professor of communication studies.

“When you look at our faculty and our students, they are from all over the world, and they are conducting research and projects on some of the biggest issues in communication,” he said. “We are also fortunate to have an advisory board made up of communication professionals from such prominent companies as CBS, IBM, HBO, NBCUniversal, The New York Times, Thomson Reuters, USA Today and Warner Bros., to name a few. Many of them are URI alumni and they are invested in helping our students succeed by serving as mentors and providing career assistance and internship and job opportunities. They make regular appearances as guest speakers in our classes.”

Senior film/media major Jameson Antaya from Richmond, R.I., who also works at the Harrington Hub, said it’s great to have one central space for equipment that gives students great access.

“Now we have real editing suites, which is much cooler than going to a computer lab to edit our work,” Antaya said. “Now we can work in a complete lab.”