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Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck to help rededicate Franklin Hall, home of IU's Media School

Buck to receive honorary doctoral degree

  • Sept. 22, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Joseph “Joe” Buck, a seven-time Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster who attended Indiana University, will receive an honorary doctoral degree during the ceremony to rededicate Franklin Hall as the home of The Media School on Sept. 27.

The convocation, which will take place at 2 p.m. in Presidents Hall within Franklin Hall, will be the culmination of The Media School’s move into the building, which reopened in August after a two-year, $21 million renovation.

The Media School, formed within the College of Arts and Sciences in 2014, comprises journalism, telecommunications and film studies programs at IU.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie said it is only appropriate that Buck, who studied telecommunications at IU, would return to help rededicate a beloved structure that now will help students follow in his footsteps.

"Indiana University has a strong tradition of journalism, and its former telecommunications students include many broadcast pioneers and Emmy Award winners, including our degree recipient, Joe Buck," McRobbie said. "Now complete, Franklin Hall and its innovative facilities will provide our students and faculty in The Media School with the resources and skills they need to meet the evolving challenges of today's media landscape."

Originally completed in 1907, Franklin Hall first served as the campus library and later as the Student Services Building. It was renamed in 1988 after alumnus and former university treasurer and vice president Joseph A. Franklin.

The building’s design now blends the English Gothic style of the exterior with a modern glass-roofed commons and cutting-edge technology on the inside. Prominent features include a 24-by-12-foot screen in the commons; a professionally equipped broadcast studio, funded by a gift from alumni Ken and Audrey Beckley; a screening room to showcase student-produced films; a large suite for student media, including the Indiana Daily Student; a game design area; and Presidents Hall, a large meeting space that once was the reading room of the library.

The facilities in Franklin Hall complement those in the Radio-Television Building, where Media School students have access to additional studio and lab space.

Buck was the youngest person, at age 25, to announce a regular slate of National Football League games on the Fox television network. Since winning his first play-by-play broadcaster Emmy in 2000, he has been nominated almost every year, receiving the honor again most recently in 2014. Buck was also the youngest play-by-play announcer to broadcast baseball’s World Series.

“The voice of Joe Buck is attached to numerous baseball games that are lodged in my memory,” said James Shanahan, dean of The Media School. “He is, for me, the voice of October.”

The Buck name was well known in sports broadcasting before Joe Buck entered the profession. His father, the late Jack Buck, was a play-by-play announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals, and Joe followed in his footsteps. They are the only father and son to each call the Super Bowl on network television.

Joe Buck began his broadcasting career at IU in the early 1990s, and, although he left short of graduation to pursue a professional career as a radio and TV announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals, his love for IU and Bloomington is evident.

He has participated in numerous speaking engagements on campus, including a speaker series for the journalism program, and he gave generously of his time and resources during the establishment of IU’s National Sports Journalism Center. He also has participated in fundraising for scholarships for IU journalism students.

"I admire Joe Buck's dedication to the art of broadcasting,” said Galen Clavio, director of the IU sports media program and the National Sports Journalism Center. “He has a tremendous awareness of his own voice, the atmosphere of the broadcast and the relationship that someone in his position has with the people listening at home. These are all lessons that we strive to teach our sportscasting students here at Indiana, and Joe is a tremendous professional role model.”

Buck also has dedicated his time to a number of community causes.

“Joe is much more than a highly talented and well-known announcer; he is also a passionate philanthropist and generous supporter of many charitable causes,” said Larry D. Singell, executive dean of the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

Since 2001, Buck has hosted the Joe Buck Classic, a celebrity pro-am golf tournament that raises money for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital. During more than a decade of hosting the tournament, Buck has helped raise more than $5 million. The hospital has named its Joe Buck Imaging Center in his honor.

In Bloomington, Buck lent his support to the Bloomington Press Club, served as a speaker at its fundraising dinner and appeared onstage at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater for a public Q&A that aired on the Big Ten Network.

NBC sportscaster Bob Costas said, “Given his visibility and the exemplary way he has conducted his career, Joe serves as an inspiration for present and aspiring students. Joe Buck is a proud and accomplished product of Indiana University.”

The Franklin Hall renovation was led by GUND Partnership of Cambridge, Mass., VPS Architecture of Evansville, Ind., and Weddle Brothers construction company of Bloomington. The building, which houses classrooms and faculty offices, recently received a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

The Beckley Studio, named for IU alumnus Ken Beckley and wife Audrey, will serve as a facility for TV broadcast news classes and production workshop, as well as for IUST, the campus' student-run television station.

The Beckley Studio, named for IU alumnus Ken Beckley and wife Audrey, will serve as a facility for TV broadcast news classes and production workshop, as well as for IUST, the campus' student-run television station.

Print-Quality Photo

Students gather in Franklin Hall's new commons space, home to a television screen that nearly 24 feet wide and 12.5 feet tall.

Students gather in Franklin Hall's new commons space, home to a television screen that nearly 24 feet wide and 12.5 feet tall.

Print-Quality Photo

Media Contacts

Margie Smith-Simmons

  • Office 812-855-9634
  • Cell 317-201-7114
  • smithsim@iu.edu

George Vlahakis

  • IU Communications
  • Office 812-855-0846
  • Cell 812-345-1500
  • vlahakis@iu.edu
  • IU Inc.

Anne Kibbler

Director of Communication and Media Relations

  • The Media School at Indiana University
  • Office 812-855-1705
  • akibbler@indiana.edu