PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University will break ground on a $12.7 million addition to the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the parking lot off Veterans Way next to Thompson Hall.

The groundbreaking coincides with a visit by CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, who will accept the Edward R. Murrow 2002 Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism. The ceremony is set for 7:30 p.m. in Bryan Hall Auditorium the same day.

The 24,000 square-foot building, scheduled to be completed fall 2003, will house research and teaching labs, a digital television news studio, faculty offices and a 172-seat classroom auditorium. The computer labs will be among the most advanced facilities in the world, allowing faculty and students to conduct nationwide surveys, measure psycho-physiological responses to communication and evaluate online research.

Communication is one of the fastest-growing disciplines at WSU, with nearly 700 communication majors and 750 pre-majors. It ranks 11th in the country for telecommunications research and in the top 15 for many of its research and teaching programs. The school is the only comprehensive communication school in Washington, with programs in broadcasting, print journalism, advertising, public relations and communication studies.

V. Lane Rawlins, WSU president; Barbara Couture, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Alex Tan, director of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication; Joe King, WSU Board of Regents; and Sharon Warsinske, past president of the Murrow Advisory Board, will attend the groundbreaking.

Amanpour, who will accept the Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism, is based in London. Her most recent assignments for CNN include Iran, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haiti, Algeria and Rwanda.

Daniel Schorr, senior news analyst for National Public Radio, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award in April. This is the first year both awards have been given. Those who receive the awards exemplify the professionalism, integrity, and courage exhibited by Murrow, one of WSU’s most distinguished alumni.