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Program Gives Students Advertising Experience
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Program Gives Students Advertising Experience

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Program Gives Students Advertising Experience

Program Gives Students Advertising Experience
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Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., is offering a unique program for graduate students in advertising.

A two-year program at the Adcenter allows students to learn in an advertising agency setting, where they work on theoretical campaigns and marketing issues.

The teachers come from the advertising world, and most of the students have had some work experience. The innovative program is not cheap — tuition is $40,000.

A Donor Eagerly Awaits Adcenter

Rick Boyko

Rick Boyko has been the Adcenter's director for four years. Noah Adams, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Noah Adams, NPR

One morning in Richmond, Va., Rick Boyko borrowed some hardhats and walked through the graceful old red brick structure that will soon be the new home of Virginia Commonwealth University's Adcenter.

In a century long ago, the building was the carriage house for a grand hotel — not just a shelter for a buggy and a couple of horses, but two-stories high, with a manually operated elevator that the carriages would ride up to their appointed stalls.

Boyko can see the finished Adcenter in his mind, with much of the original wood, high ceilings, lots of light and room for creative teams to gather.

It's a $9 million project, designed by the architectural firm Clive Wilkinson, whose clients include Disney, Wolfgang Puck and Google. Rick Boyko and his wife have contributed $1 million to the building-fund campaign. He told me, "I think you have to have some 'skin' in the game if you're going out asking other people for money."

Boyko has been the Adcenter's director for four years. Most recently, he was the chief creative officer and co-president of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, working in New York. He had thought entering the academic world might be a semi-retirement.

"I wanted to learn to play the piano, a foreign language, to fly a plane, travel more, paint again. I'm working just as hard now but it's more rewarding."

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