Alumnus donates $150,000 to create media summits

imageSome of the biggest names in the media world will congregate on the SUNY Oswego campus this fall and in future years to share their insights with students, thanks to the generosity of one alumnus.

Louis A. Borrelli Jr., a 1977 graduate of Oswego and chief executive officer of NEP Broadcasting, has committed $150,000 over five years to fund a media summit each autumn at Oswego. Outside of bequests, this is the largest cash gift in the college’s history, according to Kevin Mahaney, vice president for development and alumni relations.

“I owe a great deal of my success to the foundation I received being a student at Oswego, and in particular in the communication studies department with [professor emeritus] Lew O’Donnell,” said Borrelli. “Rather than put my name on a building or a capital campaign, I thought the money would be better spent providing an opportunity for students to be exposed to leaders in the communications field, and to provide the students with the opportunity and insights that would help them once they get out of school.”

The inaugural Louis A. Borrelli Jr. Media Summit is tentatively slated for late October. Details of the first summit have yet to be worked out, but the list of possible invitees includes the heads of major broadcast news networks, columnists for some of the leading daily newspapers and other top players in the media world.

“We are proud to be associated with a program of this caliber,” said President Deborah F. Stanley. “This gift will raise the profile of the college and the communication studies department. Our students will have a unique opportunity to learn directly from recognized leaders in the field of broadcasting. The results, we hope, will be to deepen their understanding of their studies.”

She added that Borrelli’s gift is “a great example of the difference that donors can make in our students’ lives.”

Professor Fritz Messere, communication studies department chair, said that the media summit would infuse current topics into the classroom as professors and students discuss the issues at the heart of each summit in classes. He said the department hopes to bring summit speakers into classes and have students interact with them.

“It is going to be a real opportunity for Oswego students and faculty and members of the community to have a dialogue with important people in the media. It will help solidify the growing national reputation Oswego has in the field of broadcast communications,” he said.

“We are incredibly grateful to Lou for his generous gift and hope this is the beginning of a long-term relationship with him,” Messere said. “I hope other alumni will think about creative ways to be involved with the college and the program.”

As a student, Borrelli worked at the student-run radio station, then called WOCR, and at WRVO. After graduation, he worked in the college’s Learning Resources Center with Vince Doody and had assignments in TV production, direction and supervising interns as the center produced television programs for the campus and local cable systems.

He said he believes his Oswego experiences readied him for his first job in cable at UA-Columbia. “Oswego prepared me very well for the future, whatever that would be,” he said. “I owe a lot of my success to my years there and am so happy to support the institution, President Stanley and the communication studies department.”

As the chief executive of NEP Broadcasting, Borrelli oversees the worldwide leader in television production services. The company is headquartered in Pittsburgh with offices in New York, Los Angeles and London supporting strategic partners and clients all over the world.

Divisions of NEP provide broadcast services to premier sports events like the Super Bowl, Olympics and NASCAR races; major awards shows; and live televised concerts. NEP divisions include the largest independent television studios in New York City, the United Kingdom’s premier independent mobile broadcast service provider and the world’s largest provider of mobile and modular JumboTron and LED daylight video screens.

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(Posted: Jul 13, 2005)