UNC J School receives $3.5 million

October 1, 2009 9:06:08 AM PDT
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced Thursday that it received its largest single gift ever from an individual to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.The $3.5 million gift comes from the state of alumnus Reese Felts, a 1952 graduate.

The gift will be used to upgrade a classroom and fund a distinguished professorship.

According to Jean Folkerts, dean of the journalism school, one of the school's classrooms will be transformed into a 24-hour newsroom where students will work with faculty to produce and distribute news for a variety of audiences.

"Every journalism school in the country is talking about creating multimedia projects and converging technologies. But none, to my knowledge, has created an environment that challenges current models and tests the results," Folkerts said.

Felts worked for nearly 30 years as a radio and television broadcaster in Winston-Salem, NC before retiring in 1980. He died earlier this year.

In 1996, Felts endowed an annual $3,000 scholarship for electronic communication students in the school. In 1997, he named three editing suites in Carroll Hall.

"Reese's kindness and generosity were well-known by many," Folkerts said. "His gift enables us to do something unique and meaningful for our students."

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