It was a special day around the communications building at Milligan College on Tuesday.
The television production studio was dedicated to Professor of Communication Dr. Carrie Swanay who has been with the program pretty much since its beginning 30 years ago. Dozens of her former and current students were on hand for the dedication today.
“I look back on all of the different students that I feel like I’ve had a little tread of some aspect of their lives…that maybe I’ve had an impact and gave them some type of desire to go one direction or another,” Swanay said. “It does make me feel good to know that I’ve been a part that, whether it’s just a little part or a big part,”
Also on hand were some of her former co-workers from WJHL-TV, where she was a director and served as Production Manager for a couple of years, as well as several officials from the City of Johnson City. Swanay was instrumental in getting the program started where Milligan students worked to televise the city commission meetings.
Swanay’s career in working in and teaching television stretches well over 30 years.
“I began kind of just a part-time job at WJHL-TV, had no idea, but I liked to tinker with equipment and just started playing around with that and then I just had a passion, had direction for it and stayed on that path,” Swanay said. “Went back to school, pursued a teaching career, and then I think it was God’s calling for me to come to Milligan College and help build this program.”
After nearly 30 years at Milligan, Swanay says she looks back at what her students have accomplished with great pride, but there is one day every term that she has bittersweet feelings about.
“I will have to say that I do not like graduation. Graduation is an extremely difficult day for me. It’s very sad, and that’s where I get teared up because I’ve worked with them for so long and then it’s time for them to go,”, Swanay said.