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IU Radio-Television Services Launches $750,000 Internship Endowment Campaign
Updated June 27, 2017 5:56 AM | Filed under: Education
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(BLOOMINGTON) - IIU Radio-Television Services (RTVS) has launched a campaign to establish a $750,000 endowment to support paid internships for students working in media at WFIU Public Radio and WTIU Public Television. A third of the total already has been raised.

The internship campaign was the brainchild of long-time friends and IU alumni Ken Beckley (BS'62 Radio-Television) and Larry Alt (BS'68 Radio-Television). The two were looking for a way to do more to help students that mirrored their own work experience as students at IU.

"Everyone agrees that the key to finding meaningful work in media after graduation is having meaningful work in media while you are a student. Employers prefer job candidates who have demonstrated abilities, as well as classroom work," says Beckley, citing the example of Alt, who gained so much experience as a student that he had offers from all three Indianapolis TV stations when he graduated. Beckley knows firsthand the important role an internship can play, recalling how a summer internship at WRTV in Indianapolis led to a full-time job offer as reporter and anchor at the station four years later.

WFIU and WTIU are uniquely positioned to offer these opportunities to students, according to RTVS Executive Director Perry Metz. In late 2015, Metz recruited Beckley and Alt to co-chair a six-person campaign committee of IU faculty and alumni from Radio-Television, Journalism, and Telecommunications.

"We agreed because we know what it meant to us when media faculty and staff helped us get started in our careers," Alt said, adding that he and Beckley are proud of the initiative and are confident that generous alumni and friends will embrace the commitment. "The campaign provides us all the chance to help do more than offset tuition. We'll provide resume-building experiences, making it more likely that students can find meaningful work post-graduation."

Radio-Television Services has a long history of introducing creative young people to the rewarding field of media production and broadcast. Since the early 1950s, students have cut their broadcasting teeth at WFIU Public Radio. WTIU Public Television followed suit in 1969. Many, like sportscaster Dick Enberg, used their IU experiences at WTIU and WFIU to build professional careers, including:

  • Eric Shanks, President, COO and Executive Producer of Fox Sports
  • Nicole Beemsterboer, NPR Senior Producer for Investigation
  • Leon Silverman, General Manager, Digital Studio, Walt Disney Studios
  • Gretchen Frazee, Production Assistant, PBS NewsHour
  • Todd Baxter, Chief Photographer and Team Manager CNN International
The endowment will reward the most enterprising media students with paid internships, balancing their classroom learning with real-world work experience. Recipients will be students who have a career interest in media, have met a minimum GPA requirement, and have strong recommendations.

In addition to several larger gifts matched with funds from the IU Bicentennial Match program, a multi-donor endowment account has been opened to accept smaller donations.

Notable Campaign Gifts:
Several individuals have made notable campaign gifts, including:

Ken and Audrey Beckley: The Ken and Audrey Beckley Internships will create two positions in television and radio news writing and reporting. Ken used his Radio-Television degree to launch a 14-year career as a TV news anchor and reporter. He came out of retirement in 2002 to serve as the president of the IU Alumni Association. Audrey is also an IU alumna and enjoyed a 28-year career as a medical technologist. Both have an exemplary record of service to IU and the Bloomington community.

Larry Alt: The Larry G. Alt Audio/Video Production Endowment will fund two student internships annually in WTIU and WFIU. Larry received his BS in Radio & Television from IU in 1968 and his MSBA from IU South Bend in 1978. An IUAA life member, Larry received the association's President's Award in 2014 and is a member of its Board of Managers. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lakeshore Public Television, a position he held for seven years.

Barrie Zimmerman and Margaret Joseph Zimmerman: The Barrie Zimmerman and Margaret Joseph Internships will support a student position in A/V Production at WTIU and one in news and public affairs reporting in the WFIU/WTIU Newsroom. Barrie Zimmerman served as Production Manager from 1972 to 1989 and as Director of Operations & Engineering from 1989 to his retirement from RTV in 2005; and as adjunct faculty in the Department of Telecommunications from 1979 to 1981. Margaret Joseph served as WFIU News Director/Public Affairs Producer from 1976 to 1998 and as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Telecommunications teaching broadcast writing.

Edward Spray: The Ed Spray RTVS Field Production Internships will support two students working in television media or journalism, as needed at RTVS during any given year. Spray (BS'63; MA'69) received his graduate and undergraduate degree in Radio & Television at Indiana University and as a student was active in directing and producing news, sports, and educational programs for the university. Spray went on to have a distinguished career in commercial television broadcasting and the cable industry. He began his career as a film editor at WISH-TV in Indianapolis and in 1994 co-founded the Home & Garden Television (HGTV) channel.

Nancy Shin: Nancy Shin created the Elizabeth Jane and William Silas News Internships to honor her parents. Shin is the Executive Director Emerita of the HOPE Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to support educators in creating sustainable school environments in which failure is not an option for any student. Shin values education highly and believes strongly in a media environment that brings integrity, respect, and honesty to news journalism in today's complex world. Her internships will support two students with an interest in multi-media news journalism with a focus on education, the economy, and the arts.

Endowment income from the above gifts will be matched by the IU Bicentennial Match.

The RTVS internship gifts counts toward the For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign, which is a $2.5 billion fundraising effort led by the Indiana University Foundation. The campaign is taking place on all IU-administered campuses, including IU Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. The campaign will conclude in December 2019 to coincide with IU's bicentennial year celebration in 2020.

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