A $1 million gift from Forum Communications will be used by Minnesota State University Moorhead to create the William C. Marcil, Sr. and Jane B. Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism. The center will be a major addition to the university’s Mass Communications Department; an academic department with a long-standing reputation for producing highly qualified reporters, photographers and other media professionals.

“Forum Communications Company has enjoyed a strong relationship with Minnesota State University Moorhead for many years. In fact, many of our key employees are graduates of Minnesota State University Moorhead,” William Marcil, Sr. said. “Rapid changes are occurring within the communications industry. The William C. Marcil, Sr. and Jane B. Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism, housed within Minnesota State University Moorhead, is a perfect fit and will enable the university to become an academic leader in the evolving communications industry.”

The gift, to be received by the MSUM Alumni Foundation over the next four years, will fund start-up and ongoing expenses of the center to possibly include space needs, scholarship support, the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment, creation of new certificates or minors (e.g., media analytics, media business), residencies by communications leaders, student/faculty research, student internships and speaker’s series.

“This gift announced at Homecoming, and as MSU Moorhead celebrates our 125th anniversary, is very special, indeed,” President Edna Mora Szymanski said. “The Forum has long been a generous donor to the university and the Mass Communications Department. In fact, Bill Marcil Senior was involved in the creation of our Alumni Foundation as a member of the Founding Fifty, a group of donors who helped establish our Alumni Foundation.”

A steering committee will be responsible for the strategic direction of the Center, the oversight of the funding and an annual review of the curricula to suggest ways to improve the preparation of graduates for the evolving challenges of the workforce.

“Through the Center, students will be exposed to innovative communication strategies, providing them with the necessary skills to excel in the workplace,” Marcil said. “Forum Communications Company is extremely proud to be a part of The William C. Marcil, Sr. and Jane B. Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism.”

“The gift will permit us to continue our efforts to remain not only on the cutting edge of journalism, but will afford us a unique opportunity to provide our students with new experiences using innovative media platforms and new communication strategies to keep America’s media industry a vital component of our American democracy,” said C. T. Hanson, chair of Mass Communications. “Gifts are extra special when they come from old friends, and so this gift is extra special for us. Our relationship with Forum Communications dates back to the very origins of the Mass Communications Department. For our part, we pledge to work hard to sustain the trust and honor the Marcils and Forum Communications have bestowed upon us, and we will do our very best to bring honor and recognition to the newly founded William C. Marcil, Sr. and Jane B. Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism.”

The center’s steering committee will be chaired by a three-person team consisting Lloyd Case, representing Forum Communications, Tim Borchers, dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication and Marsha Weber, dean of the College of Business and Innovation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: David Wahlberg, 218.477.2175.