Radio and media legend makes $5.3 million gift to Bloomsburg University

Gift will create the Kerby Confer Media Center for students.

Kerby Confer with students

Bloomsburg University and the Bloomsburg University Foundation proudly announce a $5.3 million gift from Kerby Confer to create a state-of-the-art media center for students aspiring to achieve success in the fields of radio, video, podcasts, live streaming, and other forms of broadcasting. In recognition of the impact this gift will have on the University, BU will name the new facility the Kerby Confer Media Center.

This latest gift from Confer will provide a modern and functional space on BU’s campus, which will include a fully renovated radio station, tv studio, newsroom, and interactive space where students and faculty can actively share ideas and experiences. Having more than doubled in size and scope since its inception, the media and journalism program is one of Bloomsburg’s largest majors and has outgrown its current space. This gift will address that immediate need while creating new scholarships to help with recruitment and retention of students across the region interested in pursuing careers in the media and journalism industry.

(L to R) Kerby Confer and Bashar Hanna
Kerby Confer and BU President Bashar Hanna

“This is an extraordinary gift from Kerby that will help us provide access to value-added experiential learning opportunities for all students,” said BU President Bashar W. Hanna. “We talk about what helps BU stand out to prospective students in terms of preparing them for success after graduation, and this is an amazing example of what that looks like as we move forward. I can’t thank Kerby enough for his commitment to helping us bring that vision to life.”

Since making his first gift to BU in 2013 to establish the Confer Radio Talent Institute, Confer has grown his support each year, continually increasing access to professional experiences for students entering the radio and broadcasting industry. He has made gifts to create scholarships, fund a faculty fellowship, upgrade equipment, and rebrand BU’s student radio station. This gift brings his total contributions to more than $6.1 million.

Kerby Confer media center rendering-3

“The evolution of Kerby’s involvement here at BU and his commitment to engaging with our students has been immensely valuable to their education,” said BU’s Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Jim Brown, Ph.D. “For him to take that commitment to an even higher level and provide this type of professional setting in which our students will learn and grow shows how dedicated he is to their success. On behalf of our students and our faculty, I want to thank Kerby for this extraordinary gift.”

Kerby Confer began his career in radio at 15, working as a DJ in his hometown of Williamsport, PA. Since 1969, he has owned an interest in or operated more than 200 station licenses and is still active in 70 markets including Altoona, Johnstown, State College, Meadville, Franklin and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as, Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Jackson Tennessee. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2003.

Kerby Confer speaking at the Radio Institute

“I got started in the radio business when I was 15 years old, hanging around the station and doing any job they would let me do,” said Confer. “From becoming an on-air personality to selling advertisements, I had to learn it all. What hasn’t changed today is these students will still have to learn all those things to be successful. What has changed is we can make it easier for them to do that by giving them a head start. That’s what I want to provide.”