Queens University of Charlotte gets $3 million gift

A Queens University of Charlotte alumna and her husband have announced they’re giving $3 million to expand the college’s James L. Knight School of Communication.

Trustee and alumna Marjorie Knight Crane and her husband, Alpo, intend the money to meet a variety of needs, including technology upgrades that will create a state-of-the-art physical space. The building will bear their name, school officials said.

Queens officials said the Cranes’ gift will strengthen the university’s reputation as “a national model for higher education’s role in bridging the digital divide.”

The expanded Knight School will be housed in the 36,000-square-foot building formerly known as Walker Hall on Selwyn Avenue. The space will feature smart classrooms, the relocated Knight-Crane Convergence Lab; offices; and digital, video, audio and distance-learning capabilities.

“Knight-Crane Hall will be a cornerstone of the James L. Knight School of Communication,” said Eric Freedman, the school’s dean.

“This new space will build on our reputation for civic engagement and expand our existing partnerships with city and county government, the libraries, schools, local industry, media organizations and municipal agencies.”

The Knight School was established in 2010 through a $5.75 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Once the full $6 million project is completed, Knight-Crane Hall will also house programs in the Blair College of Health, Center for Student Success, F. William Vandiver Jr. Center for Internships and Careers, and Myrta J. Pulliam Center for International Education.

The Cranes’ prior gifts have supported numerous campus projects, including establishing the Knight-Crane Chair of Communication and the Knight-Crane Convergence Laboratory.

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