On April 12, the Quello Center welcomed back friends, family and colleagues of the late James and Mary Quello to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. The Center conducts interdisciplinary research in the ever-changing field of communication, media and information technologies and uses their findings to educate policy decision-makers. The gathering recapped the history, celebrated the present and planned for the future of the Center through forums, panels and discussions.
“The talks and conversations about James Quello and the Center over the past 20 years left me and my colleagues with an even greater sense of responsibility for ensuring that the Center lives up to the expectations of the commissioner and his family,” said Quello Center’s Director William Dutton.
Celebrating History and Looking Forward
James Quello was an FCC commissioner for almost 25 years. By the time he left the position, he had developed so many positive relationships and so much good will at the FCC that 200 people donated monetary resources to support the Center. Their donation equated to $3 million, that has since accumulated to $5 million, endowing the Center. According to Dutton, the Quello Center has grown with the evolution of the digital age and the convergence of technology.
“I’m very proud of what this center has done and I think that I’d be very happy for any of [the donors] to see what we’ve done with the money and see that it matters to give to a field that they care about,” said Dutton, prior to the event.
This celebration also marks the end of an era for Dutton, who will be leaving his position as the director.
“I’m leaving after four years directing with pride in the Center and confidence that it will excel in ways that I have not even imagined,” said Dutton. “The Center is in the right place at the right time to make a huge difference in media and information policy for our digital age.”
A Family Event
Perhaps the most honored guest of the day was Susan Quello, granddaughter of the Center’s namesakes. According to her, the Center’s focus on the economic and social implications of innovations in the digital age is very much in line with her grandfather’s approach to communications policy.
“Utilizing the scholarly work produced by the Center, transforming their information into practical solutions that contribute to the public good, and ensuring social consciousness preserves the very essence of my grandfather’s legacy,” said Quello.
While the event was a chance for all involved to reflect and celebrate, it was especially meaningful for Quello, who said her grandparents meant the world to her.
“[Getting] the opportunity to meet the faculty and staff of the Center and the advisory board members that are carrying on my grandparent’s legacy with their hard work, integrity and determination to honor their memories made it a very special day for me,” said Quello. “After the day’s events, I couldn’t help but feel that my grandparents were smiling down from heaven with a tremendous sense of pride.”
By Kaitlin Dudlets