The wait is over as AIMM 227, the brand-new Journalism room, has officially opened. Students, faculty and staff gathered on Sept. 12 to celebrate the occasion by conversing and enjoying refreshments.
The journey to this new space started in 2016 when the Department of Journalism and Professional Writing relocated from Bliss Hall to the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building. In 2021, when Associate Professor Kathleen Webber became department chair, negotiations for the room began.
“We always dreamed of having our own room here where students could gather, get to know one another and learn,” Webber said at the grand opening party.
The project was made possible through the generosity of Derek Wan ’01.
Now that the room is complete, the college’s award-winning newspaper The Signal will be using it all day on Wednesdays, but Journalism and Professional Writing majors are welcome to come in and hang out, do homework or build community any other day of the week.
The room features multiple, large flat screen TVs to view the news or share content, lounge chairs for relaxing seating as well as a large conference table that can be broken into four smaller tables.
For the grand opening party, Wan was able to join via Zoom where Webber introduced and thanked him.
“We are so very grateful to you for your generosity and hope that when you are out East you can visit us and see your beautiful room,” she said at the end of her speech. “On behalf of our majors, Professor Pearson, Professor Lounsberry, Rosa [Rodriguez] and myself, thank you so much for choosing to give to TCNJ and the JPW students who hope to be the next generation of storytellers.”
Everyone in the room clapped and uttered thank-you’s to Wan.
“My education at TCNJ has brought me to where I am today, a possibility I could have never imagined,” he explained.
Wan expressed immense gratitude for his education at TCNJ and explained that he is always happy to support the program as best as he can. He also shared some advice for students listening. At the end of the call, Wan urged students to appreciate their education while they are still here.
“Cherish the moments you have here and remember that another student will come after you and hopefully they will feel your energy and your inspiration,” he said. “In 10 years, for me 20 something years from now, I hope you will remember your memories at TCNJ.”
– Riley Eisenbeil ’24