Hawk TV Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Hawk TV 20 YearsHawk TV celebrated its 20th anniversary in the lobby of the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communication by hosting a reunion of many of its past members on Friday, Apr. 8.

The event lasted from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and included activities such as a highlight reel of the last 20 years, speeches, and an in-studio gameshow that pitted current students against alumni. There was also a gift auction, the proceeds of which went towards Relay for Life. In total, there were about 100 people in attendance.

Many of the founding members were in attendance according to Donna Dolphin, an associate professor of communication and an advisor to Hawk TV. “One of those folks is a Vice President at Nickelodeon and now a member of the MU Board of Trustees.”

“We wanted to celebrate the 20 years that Hawk TV has been on air,” said Samantha Savona, a senior communication student and the station manager of Hawk TV. “This party was an opportunity to bring all generations together. We all shared something in common and that was our love and passion for Hawk TV. A lot of alumni discussed how nothing in their current careers would be possible without the learning experience that they first gained at this student-run television station.”

According to Alexa Burger, the promotions director of Hawk TV, one of the goals of the event was to reunite all of the past members of the organization.

“The biggest challenge of this event was to try and reach out to every past member of Hawk TV,” said Burger. “We do not have an event like this every year, but since we have reached the 20-year mark it was essential to try and bring everyone back to celebrate this amazing organization.”

 “I thought it was a great event,” said Marissa Cornford, a communication student who produces both Hawk TV News and The Save Point. “It’s amazing to see how Hawk TV has been around for 20 years and that the celebration took place while I’m a student now. It was a lot of fun, socializing and catching up… For me it was exciting to see people who graduated again, as well as meet people who didn’t go to Monmouth at the same time as me, but produced/worked on the show that I had taken over.”

The event was positively received by both students and alumni.

“This event allowed alumni to come back and see the new Plangere facility and watch old footage of themselves,” said Alyssa Wilson, a sophomore communication student who is both a writer and reporter for Hawk TV News; next year, she will be the host and executive producer of Shadow Showdown. “This was also a great networking opportunity for current students to meet alumni and gain advice and motivation.”

“It was a lot to plan,” said Savona. “The planning was very time consuming and eye-opening. I was so happy with the overall event. Everything fell into place. It took a lot of preparation and hard work to plan this event, which made it that much more satisfying. I could not have done it without the support of my E-board, faculty staff, and the general membership of the past 20 years.”

The event also featured a few short speeches at the beginning of the night. The speeches were followed by a highlights reel, showcasing Hawk TV and its evolution throughout the years. The montage was created by Savona as part of the preparation for the event. 

“The video was sweet and sentimental,” said Wilson. “I’ve only experienced Hawk TV for two years but I could tell that the people involved in the past 20 years have a deep love and respect for the organization. It also shows how far technology has grown, and how that has affected Hawk TV in a good way.”

One of the highlights of the event was a taping of Shadow Showdown, Hawk TV’s late-night game show production, which pitted current students against alumni. The session was filmed at around 9 p.m. and was hosted by Burger and pre-planned by Savona.

“The E-Board, as well as general members, have been working diligently for the past few months in order to make sure this event runs smoothly,” said Burger.

In the end, the event was extremely successful. “It’s 20 years down, and 20 more years to go!” said Savona.

PHOTO COURTESY of Robert Scott