St. Bonaventure University

Alumni News

Bona’s Jandoli School learning spaces prioritized in campaign

Oct 25, 2022 | By Cassidey Kavathas, '24

The John J.  Murphy Professional Building has stood strong in the 40 years after its construction as journalism and media rapidly changed around it. 

But now it’s time to modernize Murphy, which is home to St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication.

“It will be a game-changer for our school,” said Aaron Chimbel, dean of the Jandoli School of Communication, of the planned transformation. “We need a facility that will reflect where media is and where it is going.”

Jandoli School Online Newsroom On Sept. 12, St. Bonaventure publicly launched the largest fundraising campaign in its history, seeking to raise $125 million by May 31, 2025. The campaign “A Bolder Bonaventure: Ignite. Inspire. Invest.” will modernize facilities within the Jandoli School, among other priorities across campus. 

For more than 70 years, the Jandoli School has distinguished itself as a world-class program. Alumni include instantly recognizable and highly regarded communications professionals, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Dan Barry of the New York Times, bestselling author Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, USA Today's Rachel Axon, ESPN’s Adrian "Woj" Wojnarowski, and three-time New York Sportswriter of the Year Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post.
According to Bob Van Wicklin, vice president for University Advancement, the school's home in Murphy is long overdue for a makeover to ensure that this enviable record of success continues.

“Aaron Chimbel is a great, dynamic dean, but he needs a facility that matches his energy and his outlook for the future,” said Van Wicklin. 

Funds raised during the campaign will provide renovations and enhanced technology throughout Murphy. Plans include the creation of an agency-like classroom, team rooms, a newsroom of the future, and a state-of-the-art broadcast production suite. This will allow for The Bona Venture, the student-run newspaper, and 88.3 FM “The Buzz,” the student-run radio station, to be moved from their present location in the Reilly Center to the Jandoli School to bring all of our student media, along with SBU-TV, TAPinto Greater Olean and more to collaborate in new ways that reflect how professional media have converged to serve the public across platforms. 

Bianca Billoni, senior journalism major, finds the move to be necessary for students to have easier access to their advisers and to be in the same space. “It will be really great for the media to actually be right in our communication school,” Billoni said.

broadcast studio

The collaboration between student media will be enhanced with the newsroom spaces added by modernizing the facility. 

“Given the size of our student body, we can collaborate together. Why not take what TAPinto Greater Olean does well and combine it with what the TV station does well?” said Rich Lee, ’75, a longtime professor in the Jandoli School. “Everybody has their own little niche but there have been times when we've worked together in election coverage and in different talk shows. It's been a good experience for everybody.”

Chimbel sees these collaborative spaces as a way to improve the student experience in years to come. 

“Everything they do will be enhanced in terms of their classroom experience, their student media experience, their co-curricular experience, all of that,” Chimbel said. “We’ll have the latest and modern facilities that they deserve.”

For Lee, the campaign bearing the name “Bolder” fits right in with the Jandoli School.

“We’ve always been leaders in our field. We have so many great journalists that have a made a difference through their work,” Lee said. “Our faculty is bold. If you look at the resumes of people up and down the hallways here, it’s very impressive. We’re bold in our own certain way.”

Anne Lee, ’76, a lecturer in the Jandoli School, agrees that the Jandoli School radiates a boldness without being egotistical. 

“We got to step out there and we are known to push our students to do the same,” said Anne Lee. 

Rich Lee, who teaches a course titled Media and Democracy, feels that these improvements are coming at a perfect time. 

“People in this area benefit from more media coverage. Outside of that, journalism is so important,” Lee said. “Polls are saying threats to democracy is one of the public’s top concerns, which usually doesn’t register that high.”

Charles Calieri, a freshman journalism major, feels that an investment in the facilities is an investment in young journalists. 

“They know how dedicated students are. They know it's for a good cause because they know they’re going to get a lot of quality content out of it,” Calieri said.  

Billoni, who is graduating in May, is already excited to return as an alumna. 

“It’s disappointing that I won't be here as a student to witness the transformation, but at the same time, when I come back as an alumna in five to10 years there’ll be a whole new thing. That's exciting to think about,” Billoni said. 

Chimbel is looking forward to raising the necessary funds and seeing construction begin.
“Every contribution matters. We know Jandoli School alumni care very deeply about this school. They had a really great experience at the school and have gone on and done amazing work in their careers,” Chimbel said. “This is paying it forward for the next generation. We want the students who are here now and who will come here in the future to have the very best facility that is reflective of this great school.”

Chimbel will be a guest on the student-run radio, WSBU 88.3 FM “The Buzz,” on Friday, Oct. 28, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET to talk about the Jandoli School as a pillar in the Bolder Bonaventure campaign. The interview will be live streamed on YouTube. Watch it here:

Questions may be submitted in advance by email to The Buzz at or during the program via The Buzz’s Twitter account (@wsbu). Tag the account and use #ABolderBonaventure hashtag when posting a question. 

To learn more about the Bolder Bonaventure campaign, please visit