Lincoln College celebrates new LCTV studio/station and new baccalaureate degrees

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[December 10, 2016]  LINCOLN - On Thursday afternoon Lincoln College celebrated the completion of a goal for its students that has been a long time coming. The college has worked for the past several years to implement a broadcasting program that would add television broadcasting and production to the radio broadcasting and production program that is already in place.

To commemorate the realization of this goal, a large group gathered in the atrium at the McKinstry College on the Lincoln College Campus to hear from several of the major players in the development of the program.

The afternoon began with college president Dr. David Gerlach thanking the group for coming, and acknowledging the board of trustees at the college for their continued commitment to education through Lincoln College.

Gerlach spent a few minutes talking about when Lincoln College was first established, it was a four-year degree university. He said that the college is moving back to the four-year degree, and the establishment of the television education being introduced will include four-year baccalaureate degrees.

Gerlach also took the time to acknowledge noteworthy persons in the crowd who included State Representative Tim Butler, and representatives from U.S. Congressman Darin LaHood’s office as well as Senator Duckworth’s office. Dr. Don Green from Lincoln Christian University was also acknowledged as being in attendance.

Others attending included many members of the Lincoln College Staff, representatives from the city of Lincoln, LC students, local business people and members of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Ambassadors.

President Gerlach said that the college is moving forward with additional four-year degrees. He noted that the athletics programs at the college are in the process of transitioning from the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletics Association) to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The four-year degree for the broadcasting programs was established last year. He thanked Assistant Professor John Malone for his hard work to accomplish those degrees.

President Gerlach also thanked Lincoln College Board of Trustees, whom he said had supported investing approximately $350,000 in the new television studio/station that the audience would be invited to tour later in the celebration.

Gerlach then introduced Cathy Wilhite of the Chamber, who spoke briefly. Wilhite said that on behalf of the chamber, its ambassadors, and the chamber membership, she was there to congratulate the college on this achievement, and said that the chamber and its membership is looking forward to growing a strong relationship with the college.

Gerlach then invited Mayor Marty Neitzel to the podium. Neitzel said she was thankful for the college’s ability to offer this new program and the new station. She said it enhanced the college, adding to the choices available for its students, and in doing so also enhanced the town.

Dr. Jeffery Walker from the LC Board of Trustees was the next person to take the podium. Walker spoke saying that the broadcasting programs have been a dream of the college for a few years. He noted his son was a student at LC, and began his studies in radio, but has found a passion for the television aspect along the way. Therefore, Walker was particularly pleased that the college could offer education for what his son wants to do with his life.

He concluded that he has watched the development of the studio/station and has been excited to see it become what it is. He noted that he felt that it would enhance the college's ability to serve the students.

When Walker finished, Gerlach also noted that Walker had made substantial financial support to the development of the studio/station.

Malone, Associate Professor of Radio, TV, and New Media and General Manager of WLNX and LCTV, was then called to the podium. Malone began by saying that in establishing the broadcasting programs at LC, there had been an advisory committee, which he appreciated very much. He noted two members of that committee were present on Thursday. They were WMBD TV News Anchor Bob Larson and morning news anchor and statehouse reporter from WTAX Radio, Dave Dahl.

Malone talked about the time that has been invested in building this program. He said that while he came in 2004 to the college to start a program, it was 2010 when the effort started becoming a reality. He noted in that time he had seen a number of college presidents, and a number of city mayors. He said throughout the program; he has been the common denominator present throughout the entire process.

Malone had several to thank including former Academic Vice-president Tom Zurkhammer, Vice-President of Academic Affairs Dr. Gigi Fansler and her staff and assistants, and also Dr. Gerlach.

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Malone commented about Gerlach, saying he has brought to Lincoln College “a bold vision to return to our roots as a baccalaureate granting institution. He immediately, when I first met him in 2015, grasped the vision of what I was looking at for this program, and encouraged…well if you know Dr. Gerlach, let me use this phrase…brought extreme urgency to the idea that the radio/television, and new media degree would be the first baccalaureate degree approved, signaling that return to our roots as Lincoln University.”

The next speaker was Libby Stein-Tumulty, the Government Affairs Manager at Comcast. The college's position with cable television in Lincoln has come through a cooperative agreement between Comcast, the college, and the city of Lincoln.

Stein took the podium, saying that the agreement had been a long time coming with talks about the cooperative starting in 2010 with then-mayor Keith Snyder and former college president John Blackburn. She recounted the timeline and concluded that Comcast was “very proud to be a partner not only with Lincoln College and also with the city of Lincoln, and we can’t wait to see what they do with the channel in the future.

Earlier, Malone had mentioned that he was looking forward to working with Assistant Professor Deb Antoine, who will be the LCTV Station Manager. After Tumulty had finished, Gerlach introduced Antoine, who then offered up a few words.

Antoine said she appreciated those who had come to celebrate this occasion. She said that like the radio program, LCTV would give students real world experience in television programing. She said that students are already working, writing scripts and preparing programs for the new station. She noted that the degrees offered include multi-media programs and those too are exciting and developing well.

The final person to address the group was student Andre Walker, who is the LCTV Student Operations Manager.

Walker spoke quite briefly thanking everyone for attending, and saying he was excited for the group to cross the street and tour the new studio/station.

When Walker stepped away from the podium, President Gerlach announced that everyone was invited to go across the street and tour the new facility. There would also be a ribbon cutting ceremony outside at the front door of the building.

The ribbon cut was conducted with Chamber Ambassadors, and guests speakers for the day taking the front positions and all that wished to join in were invited to gather behind.

When the cut was complete, the door was opened for everyone to take the tour. The studio/station is set up with office areas and also a large interview filming room with the traditional green backdrop for projecting background images via computer during the broadcasting. The room also features special lighting for filming as well as the high-quality professional video cameras used in television production.

Large glass windows at the back of the room show through to the editing and control room. Going into that room, there is an impressive array of sound equipment as well as multiple screens and computer stations where editing can be done after filming.

The screens on this day showed cuts from several productions already underway that featured several aspects of college life including theater, music, and athletics.

The guests attending on Thursday included several Lincoln College students. As one young man entered the control room, he commented with great excitement that he could not wait to get into this program and work with all the amazing equipment he saw.

Former president and college trustee, John Blackburn, said the comments by the student were a great testament to what Lincoln College is working to accomplish. The school wants its students to be excited about what they are learning. He added that is the best advertising, and will hopefully spark interest in other students as time goes by.

Immediately following the tour, guests were all invited to attend a Holiday Open House at the home of President and Mrs. Gerlach.

[Nila Smith]

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