HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Students pursuing a career in broadcast journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi now have an important tool on campus to help, thanks for NBC anchor and Southern Miss alumnus Chuck Scarborough.
Southern Miss held a dedication ceremony for the "Charles Bishop Scarborough III Television Studio Suite" at College Hall Monday morning.
"It was actually quite nice to stand in the studio, which will be, I think, a vital tool for them (students) as they progress forward in their careers," Scarborough said. "I'm very pleased to be able to make this gift."
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Scarborough served four years in the U.S. Air Force before beginning his television career at WLOX-TV in Biloxi. In 1968, while earning his bachelor's degree in radio and TV at Southern Miss, Scarborough worked for WDAM-TV as a reporter and anchor.
"I was able to learn from some very seasoned broadcast journalists at WDAM in a practical way," Scarborough said. "Actually covering news and anchoring news for that year, while I studied it academically here. So it was almost like a year of 24/7 immersion in this business."
The immersion of academics and experience is now available to students working towards a degree in broadcast journalism, thanks to a donation from Scarborough.
"This is an absolutely phenomenal change in equipment that we so desperately need to teach the future journalists of tomorrow," said Dr. David R. Davies, Director of the School of Mass Communications and Journalism.
"I just feel so blessed," said senior Joy Netzhammer. "When I'm not able to have an internship, I'm able to come here and use these products that they have here for us."
While the university is not disclosing the amount of the donation, Davies said it helped upgrade the facility and purchase new equipment, like state-of-the-art cameras, lighting and microphones.
Students produce a weekly newscast from the studio, which is posted on the school's Youtube page.
"For our students to see Chuck Scarborough's name on this studio and to know that he got his skills, his start in a studio much like this one, is an incredible incentive for students to show them just how far they can go," Davies said.
Scarborough joined WNBC, the NBC-affiliate in New York City, in 1974 where he continues to work as an anchor today. He's earned over 30 Emmy Awards throughout his career.