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Journey through Communication

WESTFIELD- In honor of its 35th anniversary, the Westfield State University Department of Communication will hold a celebratory event titled “Journey through Communication for 35 years” on Saturday, October 1 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Ely Campus Center.

The event will feature posters showcasing the history of the department. Hor d’oeuvres will be served and attendees can participate in communication department trivia as well as network with Westfield State communication alumni from a variety of professional disciplines.

The Department of Communication was first established in 1981 by Edwin J. Abar, Ph.D. as the Department of Media Systems and Management. It graduated just one student in its inaugural class. Since its inception, the department has grown considerably. There were 97 communication students in the Class of 2016, and the department includes up to 300 majors annually. Students have the choice between four predetermined concentrations (communication and culture, journalism, public and corporate communication, and media arts and analysis) or an individualized path of study.

The department has undergone some changes during its three decades of operation. The third floor of Ely has been reconfigured with continually updated equipment and technology, including the addition of the Ely TV Studio, where the local high school quiz show “As Schools Match Wits” is filmed.

The department has educated and prepared many notable communication practitioners over the years. Some alumni include Boston-based news anchor Douglas Meehan ’88, founder of Odyssey Films and former segment producer of “Survivor” Jacob Teixeira ’04 and Anthony Cipriano ’97, creator of the A&E television show “Bates Motel.”

“What has remained the same is the spirit of the Communication Department: warm, friendly, enthusiastic faculty, staff, and students,” said Department Chair Madeleine Cahill, Ph.D.

“We hope to continue to prepare students to be active citizens of our Commonwealth and our world and to embrace curricular change while holding fast to the wonderful culture of the Department,” Cahill added.

Tickets to “Journey through Communication for 35 years” are $10. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Edwin J. Abar-Kiwanis Communication Scholarship. For more information, contact Suzanne Boniface at Sboniface@westfield.ma.edu.