A New Home for Hawks Broadcasts

Inside the Parton Broadcasting Center.

The students who produce the live broadcasts of Monmouth University’s Division I sporting events are doing so from a new, state-of-the-art control room thanks to a generous gift from Trustee Emeritus and former board chair Charles T. Parton ’01HN and his wife, Trudy.

Since last fall, all Monmouth Digital Network broadcasts have emanated from the Parton Broadcasting Center, which is located on the second floor of the OceanFirst Bank Center. The center was officially dedicated during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held last December.

Monmouth Digital Network’s production team is composed mainly of students, and the new, ultramodern Parton Broadcasting Center allows them to work with industry-standard digital production and  broadcasting technology, Andrew Kurtz, assistant athletic director for live broadcasts, said.

Among the equipment the new center features is a bigger board for cutting between the multiple cameras deployed during games, a replay machine, an audio control station, a more powerful graphics machine, a LiveCut station for editing and posting big plays to social media during games, a new router for inputting feeds from different locations on campus, and three large TVs to monitor the action.

In addition to the technology upgrades, the Parton Broadcasting Center provides considerably more space than the mobile trailer that Monmouth Digital Network had previously used as the control room for its broadcasts. This will make it possible to expand and add workstations in the future, Kurtz, who directs all broadcasts, said.

From left: President Patrick F. Leahy, Charles and Trudy Parton, and Jeff Stapleton outside the Parton Broadcasting Center. Photo by Anthony DePrimo

Equally important: The added space facilitates on-the-job training for new student workers, who can now sit next to and observe their experienced peers during live broadcasts.

“We could maybe squeeze seven people in the old trailer,” Kurtz said. “Now we can have 14 students in here working at once learning skills they can take with them should they want to pursue careers in sports broadcasting.”

The Parton Broadcasting Center puts Monmouth “ahead of the game” compared to similarly sized schools in terms of live-event broadcasting capabilities, Kurtz said.

The advantages of having such a facility on campus are clear to Cassidy Hubmaster ’22, who worked for Monmouth Digital Network all four years as an undergraduate and witnessed the evolution from trailer to a first-class production center.

“The fact that college students can advance into the professional world with hands-on, live production experience in state-of-the-art athletic facilities with professional equipment provides Monmouth students a leading edge when searching for jobs,” Hubmaster said.

The new center would not have been possible without the generous support of the Partons. Charlie first joined the Board of Trustees in 1987 and ever since, he and Trudy have demonstrated a deep commitment to supporting Monmouth’s educational mission through their time, philanthropy, and extended involvement with the University community.

Avid Hawks fans as well, the Partons now often stop by the Broadcasting Center that bears their name. “They’ll look through the window and wave, and they’re so happy to see our students learning and thriving in this new space,” Kurtz said.