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Our greenhouse effect

Posted December 15, 2015
Story by Jake Vitale, Reprinted from InterCom


Move over 30 Rock! The greenhouse studio at USC features mass communications students broadcasting live. This state of the art studio offers hands-on production experience while fellow classmates watch. As a 1984 graduate, I am so proud and excited to see the “action” begin. Use
 this studio to broadcast innovation and creativity 
to all. - Lou Kennedy

These words are engraved on the Kennedy Greenhouse Studio, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications' new, high-tech broadcast studio.

The glass-box greenhouse, adjacent to the new J-school building, is similar to the studios seen on morning television news shows.
 The studio provides a real life experience for students. Senior broadcast students will produce daily news segments in the greenhouse as part of their Carolina News broadcasts. Student organizations, like Student Gamecock Television (SGTV), will also use the space. On Monday, Nov. 16, SGTV produced the first live, student broadcast from the greenhouse.

The greenhouse was completed in late summer and features a broadcast studio, a control room, an office and a dressing room. The greenhouse connects to the main control room in the new J-school building, which connects to University Technology Services in the USC School of Law. From there, signals go to ETV, which can transmit to almost anywhere, making the greenhouse studio USC’s televised link to the world.

Construction of the studio was made possible by a $1.5 million donation from Lou Kennedy, a 1984 alumna of the J-school and President and CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Orlando, Florida. In 2010, Lou and her husband, Bill, donated the funds for the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center at the university’s College of Pharmacy.

“As an alumna of the journalism school, I felt it was important to give back to the place that gave me a foundation for success,” said Kennedy. “I envision the studio being the hub of information exchange for the university. I hope to see students learning from one another and sharing ideas to become better journalists.”

The J-school hired Britt Hogg this fall as the greenhouse studio’s operations manager. For the past 10 years, Hogg was the audio visual manager at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. “This is an exciting time to be at the journalism school, and I am honored to be a part of it,” Hogg said.

I want the greenhouse to be used, not only by students, but extend to people in the community as well. It is a beautiful space that needs to be enjoyed by all.” Lou Kennedy

The greenhouse will not only serve broadcast journalism students. It is designed to be a hub for broadcast communications from USC and Columbia. “I want the greenhouse to be used, not only by students, but extend to people in the community as well. It is a beautiful space that needs to be enjoyed by all,” said Kennedy. That can range from USC President Harris Pastides to all the presidential candidates who will be in Columbia for the South Carolina primary in February.

Kennedy looks forward to sharing her gift with current and future students. “It is even better than I dreamed when we first talked about it. It
is fabulous that we did not take away from the surrounding gardens and the fact that this was originally a greenhouse,” she said.

“The new home for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications is a state of the art reflection of what can be achieved. The students today are our future leaders.”


 Jake Vitale is a senior public relations major.