The University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications will host a ribbon-cutting celebration for the Don and Lorena Meier Studio at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 17 on the second floor of Andersen Hall.
The new television studio and newsroom features a news desk, conversation set, green screen and state-of-the-art equipment to support student news reporting and media creation.
“To gain professional skills, students need to work in a professional environment,” Dean Shari Veil said. “Thanks to the generous donations from the Don and Lorena Meier Foundation and the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, students graduating from UNL will be able to hit the ground running in their future careers.”
The Don and Lorena Meier Foundation celebrates the legacy of Don Meier and his wife, Lorena. Both had distinguished television careers and created Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom.” The Emmy-winning wildlife show starring zoologist Marlin Perkins aired nationally from 1963 to 1987, first on the NBC network and later in syndication. Episodes of the program currently air on RFD-TV and include new and updated content across many of its digital properties.
Bob Bennett, Meier Foundation board member and nephew of Don and Lorena Meier, explained how the project aligns with Don and Lorena’s understanding of the need for hands-on learning.
“Don would advise students to gain as much experience as they can,” Bennet said. “That’s how he learned about television. There weren’t schools teaching it at that time. He learned through experience.”
The Nebraska Broadcasters Association works to advance the best interests of the free, local, over-the-air, full-service radio and television broadcast industry in Nebraska. Support for the studio ensures that students entering the broadcast workforce have experience and training on the latest in broadcast technology.
The studio will be used by students enrolled in courses in the college and those participating in the Experience Lab, which allows students to gain hands-on experience in advertising and public relations, broadcasting, sports media and journalism from the first semester they enroll in the college.
The ribbon-cutting will begin at 4:30 p.m. Remarks from Veil and representatives of the Meier Foundation, Nebraska Broadcasters Association and Experience Lab faculty will begin at 5 p.m.
Following the remarks and ribbon cutting, students in the Experience Lab will showcase their work created for the college’s media outlets and agencies, including Nebraska Nightly, Nebraska News Service, Unlimited Sports, 90.3 KRNU, Jacht, Buoy, Heartland Webzine and The Daily Nebraskan.
“The studio is a game-changer for our students,” said Jill Martin, assistant professor of practice and co-director of the Experience Lab. “It will provide them with unparalleled access to a professional environment to experiment and become the next generation of media professionals.”