BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A state-of-the-art media center for students who wish to have a career in the field of broadcasting is coming to Bloomsburg University.

Bloomsburg University (BU) announced Wednesday, they received a $5.3M gift from media legend Kerby Confer to create a brand new media center for students who want to achieve success in radio, video, podcasts and live streaming.

According to BU, the gift provided by Confer will make room for a modern, functional space on the campus. The media center will be named the Kerby Confer Media Center and will include a fully renovated radio station, a TV studio, a newsroom and a space where students and staff can interact, brainstorm and share ideas.

“This is an extraordinary gift from Kerby that will help us provide access to value-added experiential learning opportunities for all students,” said BU President Bashar W. Harris. “We talk about what helps BU stand out to prospective students in terms of preparing them for success after graduation, and this is an amazing example of what that looks like as we move forward. I can’t thank Kerby enough for his commitment to helping us bring that vision to life.”

BU says Confer began making donations to BU in 2013, which help to build the Confer Radio Talent Institute. Since then, Confer’s support has continually grown, increasing students’ accessibility to professional experiences entering the broadcasting industry.

“The evolution of Kerby’s involvement here at BU and his commitment to engaging with our students has been immensely valuable to their education,” said BU’s Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Jim Brown, Ph.D. “For him to take that commitment to an even higher level and provide this type of professional setting in which our students will learn and grow shows how dedicated he is to their success.”

Photo Courtesy: Bloomsburg University

Confer started his broadcast career at 15 years old, working at a radio station in his hometown of Williamsport. Since 1969 he has owned a part of or operated over 200 stations and is still active in 70 markets throughout all of Pennsylvania, as well as, Kentucky and Tennessee.

“I got started in the radio business when I was 15 years old, hanging around the station and doing any job they would let me do. From becoming an on-air personality to selling advertisements, I had to learn it all. What hasn’t changed today is that these students will still have to learn all those things to be successful. What has changed is that we can make it easier for them to do that by giving them a head start. That’s what I want to provide.”

Kirby Confer, Radio and Broadcasting Industry Veteran

Confer was inducted into the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2003.