Construction Set to Begin on The Tonge Media Center in Fisher Hall

By Laura Gang on February 26, 2024

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Thanks to two recent grants, Pacific Union College’s Department of Visual Arts will begin this spring to construct a new and innovative media center.

The Tonge Media Center in Fisher Hall will house an advanced audio and video studio with state-of-the-art technology and equipment. The center will provide high-quality video and audio production access to the entire campus community. Other components of the center will include an office, kitchen, dressing room, and various equipment storage rooms.

The primary objective of The Tonge Media Center is to offer film majors invaluable hands-on experience with the latest technology and methods. The center also addresses a longstanding need at PUC for a streamlined content creation process.

“The Tonge Media Center will allow Fisher Hall to become the heart of all media created and produced on PUC’s campus,” said Rajeev Sigamoney, chair of the visual arts department. “Not only will film students in visual arts benefit from the state-of-the-art technology, but every department, student, and employee on campus will have the ability to create and publish professional-level media with much greater ease than in the past.”

Many other PUC departments frequently seek to produce polished videos for their web pages or social media platforms. Until now, they’ve had to use their personal phones or request assistance from Media Services. At The Tonge Media Center, faculty members will have the opportunity to film lectures, demonstrations, or interviews for their classes.

Furthermore, the Student Association eagerly anticipates using the center to produce video content ranging from weekly announcements to student spotlights. The PUC Church will also benefit by utilizing the center to create weekly messages, devotionals, or announcements as needed.

Additionally, The Tonge Media Center will offer its services to local businesses and nonprofit organizations, providing PUC students with real-world experience and generating some revenue for the college.

In 2021, PUC was awarded a grant from the USDA for Distance Learning and Telemedicine. A segment of this grant was designated for developing a video studio within Fisher Hall. While the grant covered the cost of most of the technological components, additional funding was needed for the design, construction, and training aspects of the center.

David Rai, the former director of technology and innovation at PUC, spearheaded the collaborative effort with other visual arts professors, Sigamoney, Tim de la Torre, and Brian Kyle. They worked with Nancy LeCourt, former academic dean at PUC, to craft a grant proposal for the California-based Tonge Foundation, which aims to support excellence in Seventh-day Adventist education.

“In the media age in which we live,” Sigamoney said, “this center is essential to the future needs of the college and our students.”