RTF Chair Feted in 1st Ever Investiture CeremonySeptember 26, 2008
President Farish bestows award upon Prof. Donovan
Michael Donovan, a long-time professor in Rowan's celebrated Radio/Television/Film program, was honored Sept. 26 in the university's inaugural Investiture ceremony for an endowed chair.
The ceremony, held in the Eynon Ballroom of the Chamberlain Student Center, formally recognized Donovan as the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation Chair in Radio/Television/Film.
Charles King founded King World Productions in the 1930s and the company developed into the world's leading syndicator of first-run television programming, responsible for such iconic shows as "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy!" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Diana King, trustee, president and chair of The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation, attended the Investiture proceeding and marched with faculty and administration scholars in flowing ceremonial robes.
Her family's foundation donated $1 million to the university in 2002 to fund the endowed chair.
Addressing several hundred attendees, Rowan President Donald Farish said the King family gift has enabled Rowan to better compete with the select - and relatively few - colleges and universities that are teeming with private funds.
The gift supports research, promotes faculty development and provides first-rate technologies for RTF students. It also enabled Rowan to hire visiting professor David Bianculli, a former TV critic for the New York Daily News and longtime contributor to National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" program.
Diana King addresses gathering
"Higher education in America is in trouble (because) the traditional sources of funds from state coffers is diminishing," President Farish said. "Only through the mechanism of private revenue can we (continue to) do the job that the public needs us to do."
Established in 1988, the Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation also provides scholarships for television and film students across America. It is a major sponsor of New York University's annual First Run Film Festival and the Broadcast Education Association's annual Festival of Media Arts.
Addressing the audience, Donovan said he was humbled by the King family's generosity.
"While I'd like to believe it's about me, Diana King started this long ago," he said. "And they've provided hundreds of scholarships to students all across America."
The Charles and Lucille King Foundation is a New Jersey-based non-profit organization. To learn more about scholarships available through the foundation visit http://www.kingfoundation.org/.