School's opening ushers in new era

by Stephen Forgacs

Staff writer

The Sing Tao School of Journalism passed another milestone last week with the official opening of the building that will house it.

Sing Tao Ltd. Chair Sally Aw joined the school's recently appointed director, Donna Logan, UBC President Martha Piper and Board of Governors Chair Shirley Chan at a ceremony attended by members of the UBC community and the news media.

"The opening of this building marks the beginning of an important period for journalism in Western Canada and Canada as a whole," said Logan. "The Sing Tao School of Journalism will be the first in Western Canada to offer a graduate program and judging by the interest it has generated already, this is a much needed program."

The three-storey, 1,080-square-metre building was built to provide teaching and office facilities for the school's graduate students, faculty and staff members.

The building comprises one large classroom for 40 students, a seminar room for 20 students, a newsroom lab for 30 students with ancillary layout and darkroom space, graduate student and faculty offices, and offices for the director and assistant to the director. The project architect was A.J. Diamond, Donald Schmitt and Co.

"It is exciting to witness the introduction at UBC of advanced studies in a field which, with the rapid growth of communication technology, promises to have an ever greater impact on the lives of Canadians," Piper said. "Sally Aw and Sing Tao have shown both foresight and generosity in support of this project."

The school will hold its first classes in September 1998. Those who complete the program will receive a Master of Journalism degree.

Logan is now working on the program curriculum and making staffing decisions. Once the Nov. 1 admissions application deadline has passed, she will turn her attention to selecting the program's first students.

"Response has been incredible. We will be taking 25 students for 1998 and we've already received at least 10 times that number of applications," she said.