Foundation endows Rowan University chair for $1 million

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Rowan University President Dr. Donald Farish announced today that the University had received a $1 million pledge from the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation to endow a professorial chair in Row

Rowan University President Dr. Donald Farish announced today that the University had received a $1 million pledge from the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation to endow a professorial chair in Rowan’s Radio/TV/Film Department. Michael Donovan, a professor of the Radio/TV/Film Department, has been named by the University to serve as the founding chair.

The Rowan University Foundation will manage the endowment as part of its investment portfolio. Under its current spending policy, the Foundation will allocate five percent of the fund value each year back to the department. Professor Donovan will oversee the distribution of funds, using them for research activities, equipment and resources needed for students to excel in what Donovan describes as a “constantly changing industry.”

“Endowing a chair is one of the most effective ways a donor can impact the overall quality of a specific program,” said Farish. “The gift will enable Professor Donovan and his successors to implement initiatives usually offered only in the nation’s top communication programs. Our students are going to benefit greatly from this donation and what Mr. Donovan will be able to do with it.”

Donovan has earned a national reputation for his work in Radio/TV/Film education. In addition to teaching for more than 30 years at Rowan, for the past 20 years Donovan has been a marketing consultant and education coordinator for the National Association of Television Program Executives, the largest television programming trade association in the world. He also teaches seminars on the American commercial broadcast industry to media professionals from developing nations for the United States Telecommunications Training Institute in Washington, D.C.

“We became familiar with Rowan University through Professor Donovan’s initiatives outside of Rowan,” said Eugene Kokot, trustee and secretary of the King Family Foundation. “We believe that the College of Communication has an excellent understanding of the broadcast industry’s needs and will use the money in the students’ best interest.”

“The Foundation is delighted that Rowan has selected Professor Donovan as the first to hold the endowed chair,” Kokot added.

The King Family Foundation’s pledge came after nearly a year of talks with Rowan University Foundation’s Executive Director Dr. Philip Tumminia. “The Foundation has a long history of supporting students studying television and film production at some of the most prestigious universities in the country,” Tumminia said. “We had hoped that if the trustees learned about the transformation taking place here at Rowan and the progress being made in the College of Communication, they would agree that we were a good investment. We are honored that the trustees would hold our communication program in such high regard as to make such a generous gift.”

The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation, a New Jersey-based non-profit organization, was established in 1989 by Diana King in honor of her parents whose early efforts in film and television program distribution led to the creation of King World Productions, Inc. Chief among the Foundation’s educational pursuits is its undergraduate scholarship program that provides scholarships to outstanding students pursuing degrees in television and film production.

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