The Lasting Mark of a “True Original”
A new media lab will open its doors to Poly students.
Poly students use the Alex Gray ’97 Media Lab podcast studio
Since the passing of Alex Gray ’97 in 2020, his memory has remained vibrant in the hearts and minds of Poly community members. As we shared with you in last year’s Report of Giving, fond recollections of Alex’s technologically innovative spirit and unique charm flooded his memorial website. Lifelong friend and classmate Ashley Amato Miller ’00 described Alex as a "true original."
In honor of Alex's visionary legacy, a group of his friends established the endowed Alex Gray ’97 Memorial Fund during Giving Day in April 2022. With a lead gift from the Todd Barker Family and coordinated efforts by Rob Redcay ’97 and Brooke Cutler ’98, the fund was dedicated to supporting students passionate about media, technology, and design. Today, we are delighted to share with you how the fund’s impact has manifested in the addition of an AV wing in Poly's Boswell building.
“Alex was an incredibly curious person with nearly religious commitments to his many hobbies and interests. However, his deepest interest was using computers to create. This is why he loved his role at The Paw Print, as it gave him a reason to learn more about Macs, networking, and desktop publishing software.
Throughout his life, Alex tinkered with technology and media every chance he had. We are thrilled that the Media Lab will support like-minded Poly students, giving them reasons to explore media and technology and helping Poly students develop as storytellers and creators.”
—Rob Redcay ’97
The memorial fund has played a significant role in reconfiguring Boswell to accommodate a new media lab and podcast studio. Spanning two floors, this innovative space now boasts an acoustically treated studio and open-floor design on the upper level and a classroom dedicated to film production on the lower level. Its design adheres to the guiding principles of flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability, offering a comfortable and adaptable environment that promotes creativity. The fund's contributions have enabled the development of this workspace, which will empower Poly students to pursue journalism, film production, sound design, and multimedia practice.
The fund's future objectives aim to ensure Poly students will have access to the necessary tools for high-quality content creation. This includes modernizing our editing workspaces with dual-monitor computers and color-coded keyboards, increasing functionality and accessibility by introducing mobility tables and chairs, and equipping the upper floor with green screens and remote-controlled lighting to facilitate a dynamic filming environment. While the lower-level teaching space is already facilitating collaborative, crew-oriented film classes, in which every student can gain proficiency in multiple aspects of film production, there are also exciting opportunities to conduct classes within the podcast studio. We aim to partner with college radio stations and industry professionals in the community, which could open doors for students to gain hands-on experience in media broadcasting and related fields. Additionally, the fund will provide support for Poly’s student newspaper, The Paw Print, which showcased Alex’s iconic approach to design during his time at Poly, his influence on the paper's layout having left an indelible imprint.
As we continue to make progress on the Alex Gray ‘97 Media Lab, we hope it will serve as a tribute to Alex’s enduring impact and unwavering spirit. The memorial fund’s mission to support students who share his passion for media and technology continues to thrive, with each step bringing the dream of those who established the fund closer to reality. We remain deeply grateful for all those who have contributed to the Alex Gray ‘97 Memorial Fund, donors who can rest assured that Alex’s shining legacy will continue to illuminate our campus.
For more information on how to get involved with the Alex Gray ’97 Media Lab, please contact Director of Annual Giving Gayaneh Pezeshkian at firstname.lastname@example.org.