Building for the Future: The Next 100 Years

The School kicks off a capital campaign to renovate Murphy Hall.

In 2022, during the School's centennial celebration, Murphy Hall turns 82. The building, named for William J. Murphy, publisher of the Minneapolis Tribune, who in 1918 bequeathed a portion of his estate to the university for “the establishing and maintaining of a course of instruction in journalism,” is the longtime home base for journalism, mass and strategic communication students. Its classrooms, hallways, and gathering spaces are often listed amongst the fondest alum memories.

Murphy Hall has stood the test of time. And now it’s time for it to serve the next century of journalists, communicators and researchers.

The power and influence of digital media in our connected world are on full display, every day. Through media technologies unimaginable just a decade ago, the reporting of stories, sharing of information, and expression of ideas are shared rapidly, and globally, like never before. Journalist, media strategist, advertising creative director, broadcaster, and podcaster are livelihoods that hold great potential. And they speak with voices of even greater responsibility.

For 100 years, the Hubbard School—and Murphy Hall—has prepared students to enter the media landscape of their time equipped with knowledge, determination, and a sense of responsibility. Hubbard School alumni have gone on to accomplish amazing feats in their fields, leading in communities and industries in Minnesota and around the world.

Now, as digital media transform news, information, entertainment, business and nonprofit strategy, the School is once again poised to shape the future and build off the successes of the past 100 years.

“My career in journalism began more than 50 years ago in the basement of Murphy Hall, where a bunch of us produced the Minnesota Daily. It was an exciting time, and I could not be more thrilled that Murphy Hall will now be equipped to train new generations of journalists in the years to come.” -- Tom Gjelten, donor, UMN alum

Within These Walls
Murphy Hall bridges the legacy of the past with the promise of the future. Transforming Murphy Hall’s digital and instructional labs and broadcast studio to promote transparency, collaboration, and mobility will continue to drive the innovation that fuels the skills, education and excellence the School provides.

Murphy Hall was last renovated in 1999, when new lab spaces were a perfect response to the digital media boom happening at that time. Now, two decades later, both the technology and how we teach and learn has again changed, and the School is rising to meet that moment while also forecasting for the future.

New state-of-the-art laboratories and learning spaces will increase flexibility and enable wireless 5G technology to enhance media production and distribution, and will allow students, faculty and professionals to collaborate in new ways. A converged physical media and classroom hub (integrating classroom, digital studio, and huddle spaces) and a virtual hub, will foster new connections between the School’s student media projects and classrooms, tying this all into a common hybrid virtual and physical space for the first time.

media lab rendering

What's To Come in 2022
To meet the demands of 21st-century digital innovations, the School will expand the Sevareid Library and lab space from a digital resource center to a working digital innovation hub, where student teams conduct digital media research, develop digital tools and business plans to innovate and collaborate in creating the future of journalism and communication strategy under the guidance of the School’s professional fellows and faculty. This new innovation hub will:

✖ Combine face-to-face experiential learning and virtual learning lab spaces in support of our integrated strategic communication programs
✖ Update our modest studio space to allow integration of production and instructional lab spaces, and support data visualization and remote production work
✖ Integrate existing digital media and library services to support the School’s Sevareid collection

The School also hopes to develop a professionally managed, integrated, and connected digital platform that will:

❚ Publish the strongest student work from our multimedia journalism courses and link to student and community publications that feature students’ work
❚ Create a signature web portal where media professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and others can see the talent and professionalism of our students
❚ Offer cross-digital social media and Web promotion of student clubs and organizations like The Minnesota Daily, Radio K, The Wake, and other student activities and groups’ media content
❚ Integrate opportunities for digital-first training that showcases students’ production and publication experiences so that they graduate with a portfolio of digital work they can highlight to prospective employers and companies
❚ Provide a landing site for Backpack, campaigns courses, and American Advertising Federation competition teams to showcase their work for clients

“How glorious it is that journalism students have had a home, a hall of their own for decades and decades. Murphy Hall remains a critical touchpoint for all of us, whether physically or in the stories we tell of our time spent within its walls and the people we met there. And how exciting to think about Murphy re-tooled and reimagined for future scholars and practitioners.” -- Deborah Hopp (B.A. '75)

Gopher Way rendering

Connecting with the Community
The unparalleled opportunities provided by Minneapolis-St. Paul offer the School the opportunity to connect with the media industry, non-profit sectors, and other industries to be a driving force in preparing our diverse student body for the professional media market.

Local advertising and public relations firms, broad-casters, news, and related public interest organizations seek leaders that reflect Minnesota’s increasingly diverse population. These experiences offered to Hubbard students prepare them to be professionally prepared and capable of working anywhere in the world. From COVID-19 to the fight for racial equality, recent crises highlight the importance of educating the next generation of professionals to help improve communication and community reporting.

Support Murphy Hall: Give Today

We have a responsibility to prepare these students by providing them with the right environment for learning and discovery while helping them secure hands-on, real world experiences. Perhaps even more importantly, we have a duty to give these students the tools they need to be successful upon graduation and long after they’ve said goodbye to Murphy Hall.

The School is a leader in providing deep student experiential learning opportunities through partnerships with Twin Cities and Minnesota non-profit and commercial media. Training future professionals to provide ethical, timely, and accurate journalism and communication strategy in service to communities is more important than ever. 

Career Readiness Built In
The new spaces will prepare students with:
❙ Enhanced access to career counseling, including assistance with job interviews
❙ Access to 1:1 coaching, student services support, and resources to complete their degrees and launch their careers
❙ Assistance with students’ development of core career competencies and learning how to articulate and translate them into the language of employers
❙ Training and experiences, including internship opportunities, job shadowing, mentorship, and more
❙ A “Professionals in Residence” program in the School where media professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs can serve as role models to mentor and educate our students on career opportunities

And Beyond: Modernizing Murphy Hall
While the lower-level renovations are in the works, here’s a peek at some of the upgrades the School hopes to integrate in the next several years.
❙ Renovate and expand Sevareid Library and Digital Resource Information Center into the Hub: Integrate access to the library from wings including a mobile multimedia lab, a video broadcast studio, control room, a direct-to-Web podcast studio, and project huddle space. Enhance Sevareid library digital collections, subscription services and access to Adobe software for all students.
❙ Build two integrated design-to-dissemination labs
❙ Remodel faculty “neighborhoods” to cluster faculty offices, classrooms, and experiential learning spaces in line with pre-professional training needs and faculty areas of expertise
❙ Establish a research “neighborhood,” including state-of-the-art focus group, psycho-physiological, and mobile facilities
❙ Create a laptop lounge and provide free laptop checkout for students in need
❙ Update equipment in our 144-seat auditorium to support hi-flex, simultaneous in-person and remote learning
❙ Update the Heggen Room and the Murphy Hall Conference Center to allow for simultaneous
in-person and remote event activities (planned for Fall 2021)
❙ Update The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law facility and expand its programmatic offerings