Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu


On Campus

Students Share Hopes for SOC's Future Home

By Jonathan Whitehead

McKinley north exterior elevation

McKinley north exterior elevation

The restoration of the historic McKinley Building as a new home for the School of Communication will provide more than just a modern facility with state-of-the-art resources and technology—it will finally provide SOC with its own building on campus.

This strong campus identity and presence, as well as the potential for greater community-building, are aspects of the new facility that current SOC freshmen and sophomores are most looking forward to. With an anticipated completion date of late 2013, the Classes of 2015 and 2016 will be among the first SOC students to graduate from the new facility. Throughout their years here, they are witnessing the transformation of the historic McKinley Building into the new SOC.

“I think having SOC unified in its own building will provide for a much stronger learning experience,” said Kathleen Rooney, a freshman with an intended major in Public Communication. “It’ll definitely make a bigger community of SOC, as well as provide more opportunities for and access to resources.”

In addition to having a larger number of classrooms, offices, digital imaging labs/multimedia suites, and a new theater with a larger audience capacity, the new building will include a media innovation lab/converged newsroom, teleconference suite, special event spaces, and conference/seminar rooms—important resources that SOC does not have in its current home on the third floor of Mary Graydon Center. Additionally, the new building will finally assemble all of SOC’s various centers and institutes, as well as faculty and staff offices, under one roof.

“I think that the move will help signify the growth of the school as we aren't just a floor of a building anymore—we are our own, unique faction of the university and campus,” said Hannah Katzen, a sophomore with a major in Communication Studies. “That being said, I think it will certainly unify SOC students by giving us an identity in our new hub—our new home, really.”

In addition to giving SOC a stronger identity and presence on campus, the new building will also allow for a stronger sense of community among the school’s students, faculty, and staff by having everyone under one roof.

“I think the renovation will allow for greater community in the individual families [programs] of SOC, and let us grow as a school, not only in square footage, but overall ability,” said Leena Neeb, a freshman with an intended major in Film and Media Arts. “With more space comes more classrooms, an improved student experience with a greater potential for knowledge, and a place of our own to call home.”