|Radio-television students practice their skills in Don Anderson Hall’s news studio.
The School of Journalism has come a long way since 1914, when classes started in surplus Army tents on the Oval. In 2007 the nation’s second-oldest undergraduate professional journalism school moved into its new building, Don Anderson Hall.
Project at a Glance:
The building is named for the Montana native and Wisconsin publisher who in 1959 arranged for Lee Enterprises to purchase most of the state’s daily newspapers from the Anaconda Copper Mining Co., freeing them from the infamous “copper collar.”
“This building makes a huge difference, because for the first time in decades it brought all our faculty and students under one roof,” Dean Peggy Kuhr says. “We had been in several buildings scattered across campus.
“In today’s world,” she adds, “a print journalist needs to know how to run a video camera and a broadcast journalist needs to know how to work online, so I think this building represents that convergence of media platforms.”
The structure offers classrooms on five levels, with a capacity for 250 total students per class period. It has wireless access throughout, plus two television studios, a production control room, an audio recording suite and two photojournalism/multimedia labs.
Building highlights include the circular Native American Journalism Center on the third floor, with eight lodge poles representing Montana’s seven reservations and one landless tribe. The building’s main entrance features a wall sculpture made from antique wood and metal type created by former Missoulian publisher and artist Lloyd Schermer.
Joe Durso, a former acting dean and longtime broadcast department chair, launched the dream of a new building in 1997. Dean Jerry Brown then led the school and alums in a tremendous fundraising effort, joined by lead donors Lloyd and Betty Schermer and John and Sue Talbot.
“It’s not only a beautiful building, it’s well-designed for the work being done here,” Kuhr says. “I know the students love it.”
Cost: $13.3 Million
Construction start date: July 2005
Dedication: May 11, 2007
Gross Square Footage: 57,238
Funding: 3% State, 25% UM, 72% Private
Unique Feature: The Moveable-type Masterpiece, “A Newspaper’s Puzzle,” in the Main Lobby