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The Gift of Education
The Gift of EducationApril 15, 2003Nicci Brownnicbrown@syr.edu
Michelle Holl is a senior at Syracuse University. She is pursuing a dual major in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and marketing from the School of Management. She gave the following address April 9, 2003 at the announcement of a $15-million gift from the S.I. Newhouse Foundation to the Newhouse School. The announcement was attended by Donald Newhouse, president of Advance Publications, Inc., and his wife Susan.
When I was a prospective student looking at colleges, I remember Dean Rubin said that Newhouse alumni “bleed Orange.” At the time, the comment was amusing. Now, four years and one national basketball championship later, I realize just how true that comment is.
I understand why a Newhouse alumnus would be so loyal to the school. It’s because of the tremendous impact Newhouse has on all of our lives. We’re taught by outstanding professionals in a state of the art facility. We’re given tools to make the transition from school to work smooth and easy. And we’re exposed to an environment of teamwork that extends far beyond these walls.
The facility we have here is amazing, and it continues to grow and improve. I take prospective students and their parents around Newhouse on tours and they’re always impressed with our editing suites, computer labs and studios. The equipment we have here is up to par with what professionals use every day in their jobs. When we graduate from Newhouse, we are familiar with the equipment and technology used in our fields. We don’t have to be trained to do simple, basic tasks because we learn the basics here at Newhouse and then we learn how to apply these fundamental skills to our professional careers. We’re ready to work when we graduate.
But the facility we have is only part of the package. Our professors are active professionals with many years of experience under their belts. When we set foot in a classroom, we don’t just hear altered renditions of our textbooks-we hear colored tales of the real world and how the theories we read about actually apply to our profession. We get advice from someone who has actually been there recently and can give a straight answer.
Because the facility and professors we have here are so up to date, we will graduate armed and ready for our professions. The transition from college to work will be easy and seamless because we’ve spent four years preparing for the workforce. We’ve had various experiences through internships and summer jobs, and our classes have been formatted to mirror the workings of the professional world. By the time we graduate and begin looking for jobs, we’ve got a lot of experience and knowledge to back up our degree.
I think that all of the benefits made available to us by Newhouse also help make us credible. The reason the Newhouse name rings so loud in the communications industry is because time and time again, we can back it up. The Newhouse name is now a part of me-I’ve become a member of a close-knit family that extends all over the country. All I need to say is “I went to Newhouse” and people are immediately impressed. I’m proud to say that I have been part of a long-standing tradition of excellence. A tradition made possible by the Newhouse family. And so, in gratitude for all the support the Newhouses have shown and continue to show to us, I would like to ask my fellow students and the Newhouse school family, our faculty and staff, to join me in a round of applause for our friends and patrons, the Newhouses.