Temple University’s Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising department is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and plans to unite the past, present and future of the program with a series of special events and guest speakers.
Leslie Senter, a media consultant from L & A Associates, was hired to plan the upcoming events.
According to Senter, the kickoff celebration will take place in the next few weeks.
Five specially made banners will be hung across Broad Street marking the anniversary.
The year’s events will begin with a press conference and guest speakers.
“This anniversary is significant because we’ve been around for so long,” says JPRA Department Chairperson Karen M. Turner, “This gives students and alumni a chance to celebrate what JPRA is all about and also give us the opportunity to start looking towards the future.”
For both new and veteran JPRA faculty, the consensus seems to be that Temple’s strength over other similar programs is its diverse setting, the large faculty of media professionals and the many opportunities that Philadelphia provides to students.
The professors say that students have the chance to obtain professional contacts through their professors an advantage that many other schools cannot match.
Full-time professor Edward Trayes, who has been in the department since 1967, has seen the JPRA department go through many changes.
He remembers at a time when the program was housed in a rowhome on Broad Street.
The department half-dozen professors taught in makeshift classrooms fashioned out of living rooms and bedrooms.
“The Temple JPRA program has gone through ups and downs, but the one thing that has remained is consistent the great opportunity that students can gain from our program,” said Trayes, “What we offer goes far beyond the classroom; [the students] are fed a wonderful blend of theoretical and practical skills, which will help them to grow in both their professional and personal lives.”
“The program has always had a strong curriculum but they’ve done an excellent job in moving into the new media,” says senior professor Thomas Eveslage, who has taught in the department since 1981.
“The fact that we have skilled professionals that specialize in every aspect of communications gives us a bit of an advantage.”
When JPRA was started, it was geared strictly towards newspaper writing, but as technology and media has enhanced, the program has steadily evolved by bringing in professional adjuncts and full-time professors to teach in new disciplines. The steady development of technological and academic progress has allowed the program to maintain a reputation of excellence.
New assistant magazine professor Laurence Stains is looking forward to teaching at Temple. Stains transferred from a part-time adjunct to full-time assistant professor this semester.
“Fate works in mysterious ways because I always wanted to try teaching and I got a call and decided to try it,” Stains said, “I have worked in the Philadelphia Magazine community since 1986 and I have always heard good things about Temple’s program.
When I had my interview with [School of Communications an Theater] Dean [Concetta] Stewart she told me that I was coming into a great department and so far she’s been right.”
Among the guests who will participate in the anniversary celebration is Pulitzer Prize winner and Temple alumnus Joby Warrick of The Washington Post.
Warrick will receive The School of Communications “Younger Alum” award in October as part of Temple’s Gallery Success ceremony.
Clarence Williams, another Pulitzer Prize winning alumnus, will participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the department’s newly renovated Joe First Center.
Jennifer West can be reached at email@example.com