The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Thursday, April 25, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Media and Journalism school gets fashionable with new program

The covers of fashion magazines hang framed in the halls of the UNC School of Media and Journalism. The school recently received a one million dollar donation by alumni Leigh and Bill Goodwyn to start a fashion program in the school.
The covers of fashion magazines hang framed in the halls of the UNC School of Media and Journalism. The school recently received a one million dollar donation by alumni Leigh and Bill Goodwyn to start a fashion program in the school.

Bill and Leigh Goodwyn, alumni of the School of Media and Journalism at UNC, donated $1 million to the school for the Workroom: FashionMash project.

“We had been thinking about a gift to the University for some time and we just really wanted to get our head around doing something new and different for the University and we also wanted to do something that we felt like would have a passion appeal for me,” Leigh Goodwyn said.

The Workroom: FashionMash program is led by Dana McMahan, a professor and director of the journalism school’s Workroom initiative. The initiative brings global brands like American Eagle Outfitters and Burt’s Bees into the classroom so students can gain hands-on experience.

“Workroom is an actual workspace. We have an office downtown that we can prototype and build everything from experiential marketing ideas to product design ideas and we do it in conjunction with a client for the duration of the class,” McMahan said.

“It gives a chance for students to go through the prototyping process and the thought process behind what it takes to bring all of these types of things to life.”

John Sweeney, head of the advertising specialization at the School of Media and Journalism, said this program adds a fashion orientation that the school didn’t have before.

“(This donation) means one of our most outstanding faculty members now has the support she needs to really pursue a very career-oriented and provocative area of interest for her and the students,” Sweeney said. “(Students can gain) a lot more experience with sophisticated design in the fashion industry and a sense of the fashion industry that they didn’t have before.”

The Goodwyns said they are hoping this program will provide more opportunities for students who are interested in fashion.

“While 20 years ago getting a degree in fashion merchandising may not have been considered a serious major in college, it is now and I think it’s just the appropriate time to really think more seriously about what we can do to bring that opportunity to people who are truly interested in fashion,” Leigh said.

She said breaking into the fashion industry isn’t easy, but a program like this could help.

“What we wanted to do was try to open up the opportunities for students to find these great designers and awesome brands and help them create a pathway through internship programs and through hands-on experiences and visits to the major fashion markets such as New York and L.A. and Paris,” Leigh said.

McMahan said the program is a great complement to the other specific programs of study the school provides.

“I’m super excited for the students who want access to this kind of material to have it and be able to work in the genre while they’re in school that they’re thinking that they might want to work in when they get out of school,” McMahan said.

university@dailytarheel.com

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.