American University has designed a visionary new home for the School of Communication that integrates the historic elements of the McKinley Building with bold new construction that enhances the school's converged approach to education.
The state-of-the-art facility more than triples SOC's old space in the Mary Graydon Center and has become a point of pride for the AU community. The building offers interaction with Washington's policy and communication leaders, and fosters collaboration among our award-winning academic centers, faculty, students, and alumni.
The new SOC meets rigorous standards of sustainability and advances the university's reputation as a leader in environmental responsibility among North American institutions of higher education. The building is expected to meet the standards for LEED Silver certification.
A symbol of SOC’s philosophy of convergence, the Media Innovation Lab is an interdisciplinary multimedia production laboratory where SOC's communication strategists, filmmakers and journalists can create content across media platforms. It features a video wall that streams news from across the world and a control room for broadcasting and live streams. It is the centerpiece of the first floor.
145-Seat Theater (The Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater)
The Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater greatly enhances our ability to host events that benefit students, such as national conferences, symposia, film screenings, awards ceremonies, and master classes with distinguished alumni. Our innovative centers also benefit from being able to hold their annual events within SOC (instead of off-site), including the Center for Social Media’s Media that Matters conference.
North Elevation (Abramson Family Plaza)
The cornerstone of the McKinley Building was laid by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902. A combination of major upgrades and restoration will bring this symbol of the university’s early days into the twenty-first century, in a manner that is both environmentally sustainable and historically sound. The new building preserves McKinley’s iconic façade and up to 75 percent of its structure, while adding a beautiful glass entrance that celebrates the future of SOC.