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Our Lady of the Lake University has launched the Salazar-Escobedo School of Mass Communication and Theater, a new school focused on preparing future journalists, broadcasters, and members of the media.
OLLU used a $2.1 million donation from Verónica Salazar-Escobedo, a university alumna and longtime journalist at the San Antonio Express-News, and her husband Rubén M. Escobedo to fund the school.
A $1.1 million gift established the Verónica Salazar Media Center, a multimedia production center, in 2016. The remaining $1 million of the couple’s donation will help launch the school.
“We want our graduates to become the best journalists, the best broadcasters, the best mass media in the country,” Salazar-Escobedo said. “We hope the national markets will recruit them. We want them to become evangelists for Our Lady of the Lake University, to inspire other students to look at us.”
OLLU graduates have worked for both national and local news outlets, reporting for ABC News, CNN, the Associated Press, KSAT-12, and Univision 41 in San Antonio, according to a university press release.
The school also will offer degrees in technical writing, which will prepare students for careers in grant writing and writing for the web, and drama for students who aspire to work as directors, producers, or stage managers.
The Escobedos became involved with OLLU’s mass communication programming in 2015 when then OLLU president Sister Jane Ann Slater told them of the antiquated equipment students were using.
“I thought, ‘If they are already Emmy winners with outdated equipment, can you imagine — I get goosebumps — what they can accomplish with state-of-the-art equipment?’” Salazar-Escobedo said.
Gustavo García-Siller, San Antonio’s Archbishop, will celebrate a special mass in the Escobedos honor on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in OLLU’s Sacred Heart Chapel.