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Beschloss Family Media Design Center to be dedicated Sept. 22

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
(217) 333-2177;



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The new Beschloss Family Media Design Center at the University of Illinois College of Communications will be dedicated Sept. 22.

The dedication, which includes a tour of the state-of-the-art center, begins at 2 p.m. in 213 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright St., Urbana. The event is free and open to the public.

Funds for the center came from Morris R. Beschloss and his family. Beschloss earned his bachelor's degree in journalism at Illinois in 1952.

After two years in the armed forces, Beschloss turned to advertising and public relations, and built a highly successful career as an executive in the manufacturing of metal parts -- first of industrial fasteners (Chicago Screw Co. and Standard Screw) and later, of domestic and light commercial valves (Hammond Brass and Condec Corp.). He is widely regarded as the father of the modern valve industry.

"Morris Beschloss' commitment on behalf of his family enables our students to be taught in a superb graphics facility," said Kim Rotzoll, the dean of the college. "Building from a rock-solid base of public-affairs reporting, our students should be professionally adept in an increasingly complex verbal and visual media environment."

According to journalism professor Eric Meyer, the center is "a state-of-the-art facility for teaching and practicing online print design and for exploring the new frontiers of media convergence."

College of Communications faculty members will teach in the new facility, which will be maintained by technical staff. Included in the extensively remodeled laboratory/classroom in Gregory Hall's lower level are 25 professional quality workstations "loaded," Meyer said, "with an impressive array of the latest industry-standard software for newspaper and magazine page design, infographic research and design, creative advertising design, digital audio-video editing for the World Wide Web and online site design."

The center also contains six digital still cameras, two digital video cameras, six reflective scanners, a video presentation system, two high-speed laser printers, a large-format color printer, dedicated broadband Internet access and ergonomically designed lighting, seating, window treatments and work tables.

The Beschloss Family Endowment also will ensure that the facility remains at the cutting edge for years to come, Meyer said, "with timely upgrades in hardware and software as emerging technologies mature."

At Illinois, Beschloss wrote for the Daily Illini. He recalls that his term as sports editor coincided with one of the university's most successful sports years, 1951 to 1952. As a student, Beschloss also worked in radio with local and national sportscasters, and he appeared several times on Chicago television to talk about Big Ten sports.

In addition to his leadership in business, Beschloss also has been active in religious and public education. He served two terms on the UI Alumni Board, and received the rare Distinguished Eagle citation, given to Eagle Scouts who later distinguish themselves in business.

In 1983 he was co-founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and in 1972 he was named Israel Bonds Man of the Year.

Now living in Palm Springs, Calif., with his wife, Ruth, Beschloss currently conducts weekly discussion groups, writes business and op-ed columns for the local Gannett-owned newspaper and appears on talk shows and television.

In addition to his newsletter, "The Beschloss Perspective," he publishes "The Global Outlook," a foreign affairs review.

Beschloss' sons also are involved in journalism: Michael, a lecturer, author and television personality, is considered to be one of the nation's leading presidential historians; Steven is a filmmaker who works for Prime Time.

Morris Beschloss was born in Germany, went to high school in Taylorville, Ill., and settled in the Chicagoland area. He said that with the gift of the new center, his family, which "found refuge from Nazi Germany in America," continues its effort to help "enrich this nation's greatness with its multigenerational contributions."