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RJI Dedication

Posted by amseibel8 on September 13, 2008

So walking to RJI, I’ll admit, I was confused. I had never seen this building before, where is it? What is exactly is this dedication about? Maybe it was my lingering fatigue from my two-day migrane I had that caused my confusion, but as I was walking, suddenly…Oh, yeah, that must be it…

Hundreds of people trickling in and out of the building, the futuristic, amazing architecture of the building in front of me, yeah this was probably it. I noticed the sign outside of it, Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. Wow, okay so this is where I’m going to be studying journalism for the next for years? Not bad.

So what is this dedication going to be like? I had no idea. To be honest, it really just clicked in my head that this is the opening of this institute. Again, the fatigue taking over. So anyways, who are all of these people here? Looking around, I notice a lot of students, a lot of alumni, and a lot of people sitting in the front in chairs, who I assume are the celebrities and the important alumni we’ve been hearing about (later on I’ll find out that I’m right).

Right away I noticed the architecture and the structure of the building I was in. It was amazing: glass walls, glass podium, multiple levels, an upper level walkway, crisp, clean, newly painted, white walls. It’s very modern looking. You can also see the lower level, complete with dozens of new Mac computers. I am informed that this is the Futures Lab. It looks awesome. Just looking around is exciting.

The ceremony is pretty short. Dean Mills (Dean of Mizzou Journalism School) introduces everyone and gets the ceremony going. He used the “modern, light, open interior” to describe the hope and inspiration for RJI. The second speaker was actually the most inspirational for me. Lauren Zima (President of MU Journalism Scholars) spoke of her experience as a student and the ways they have paid off. She had just come back from a study abroad program also. Adult speakers are good, and in this ceremony they were fantastic, but Lauren really touched me because watching an actual student speak about how she was actually following her dreams, thanks to the J-School, gave me a lot of joy and excitement. She continued to talk about the new technology that will be available at RJI and that will make our J-School even better. Seriously, if you’re a J-School student, let me just tell you, you should be VERY excited to go here.

More speakers continued to come up. Pam Johnson (Executive Director of RJI) introduced a video featuring different people in the journalism world (who were all present, some also work here) who talked about their amazing goals to advance journalism, as technology is also advancing. They also talked about renewing the journalist creed for the new century. All of the goals they were talking about were basically revolving around changing journalism with the changing technology, and to use technology to figure out how people want to get their news.

After the video, the speakers kept getting bigger and better. First the Chancellor of MU came up, Brady Deaton. He said a quote that was my favorite throughout the entire ceremony. In regards to the new institute and all of us who will be roaming its halls, he said, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” And he is very right. Us journalism students need to step up, but with RJI I have a feeling it won’t be too hard or painful.

President Gary Forsee, Cheryl Walker, Mayor of Columbia Darwin Hindman, Governor of Missouri Matt Blunt, and finally Fred W. Smith all spoke with fantastic and exciting eloquence. As a teenager still, I get bored easy. And I can honestly tell you, they really were great speakers, not to mention these are very important people. After all spoke, Dean Mills, the Governor, and Fred W. Smith walked to right in front of where I was standing (I had no idea I had such a prime standing spot) to something covered in a black cloth. They unveiled it, a statue of Donald Reynolds, symbolizing the dedication of RJI. Now, the rush to the cooler of Tiger Stripe over in the corner!

Pretty darn cool, I must say. All of you J-School students should be extremely excited to come to RJI. I had no idea about it until I went to the dedication, so I imagine that none of you have even seen it yet. Trust me, though, it’s amazing.

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Celebrating the Dedication of the RJI

Posted by Nick Gass on September 12, 2008

Upon entering the state-of-the-art Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute for the first time, I was overwhelmed with the incredibly open and welcoming architecture and plasma screens that dotted the foyer. I made my way through the crowd and found a seat next to Don Ranly, professor emeritus (PhD ’73) at the School of Journalism. It was my privilege to sit next to him and share a conversation about this challenging, yet exciting time in the profession. While the large crowd of people often made it difficult to see the speaker, I heard and absorbed everything, from Dean Mills’ opening remarks to the unveiling of the Donald W. Reynolds bust. It reminded me, as a freshman, why I chose the University of Missouri. Sure, being a native St. Louisan, it was a rather easy choice, but it reinvigorated my natural curiosity for the craft. As Dr. Ranly so wonderfully noted, I picked a great time to be here.

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Dedication to the Father of KOMU

Posted by Gretchen Mahan on September 11, 2008

Alumni gathered on Thursday in the Reynolds Journalism Institute for the dedication of the Dr. Edward C. Lambert Seminar Room.

Organized by two of Lambert’s former students from the graduating class of ’71, Paul Fiddick and Michael Wheeler, the dedication began with Dean Mills’ giving a short biography of Lambert.

After serving in them military, Lambert received his Ph. D. from the University of Missouri, staying to teach for many years. Lambert is most remembered for his founding of KOMU-TV in 1953, the television network that continues to serve Columbia with news. However, his students also remember him for his willingness to always lend a helping hand.

Throughout the ceremony, Lambert was described with such honoring titles as as kind man, genuine gentleman, and scholar.

Lambert’s family, including his wife and two daughters, was able to attend the event in his honor. When asked what the dedication meant to her, daughter Barbara Lambert Reichel answered with tears in her eyes, “The world.”

“I can’t tell you just how much this has filled my heart and soul,” she said.

Ella Lambert, now ninety-four years old and confined to a wheelchair, was also touched by the dedication.

“I feel so delighted to hear people appreciate him,” she said.

Fiddick and Wheeler decided to organize the dedication because of the closeness they felt to their former professor.

Wheeler mentioned that one of Lambert’s former students said he felt obligated to contribute to the dedication because, he was “one of Ed’s boys.”

Fiddick said that the process of the dedication began as simply that, a dedication to a great professor. But as the process progressed, it changed into something different.

“This became recognizing the humanity of Ed Lambert,” Fiddick said.

Fiddick believed Lambert needed to be acknowledged for the service he had given MU and his students.

“Ed’s contribution to the school had never been adequately recognized,” he said.

Hopefully now, with a room in the new Reynolds Journalism Institute named in his honor, Lambert will continually be recognized for his service to Mizzou for years to come.

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