College of Business Introduces the Loren and Michele Hansen Media Lab

Angle in Studio 49

Feb. 11, 2019

A new media lab constructed at the University of Montana is providing the College of Business with the tools to create professional-quality videos and podcasts as audiences for both platforms continue to grow.

The Loren and Michele Hansen Media Lab was made possible by a generous gift from UM alumni Loren Hansen, a 1969 business graduate, and Michele Hansen, who earned political science and history degrees in 1970. The Havre natives have spent the last several decades pursuing real estate investments around Long Beach, Calif., where they spent their careers after graduating from UM.

The Hansens, who reside in Bigfork a portion of the year, said they were inspired to give back to UM because it exposed them to new people and ideas that influenced them throughout their careers.

“We both spent most of our careers in business so we feel it’s important to provide business training to students in Montana,” Michele explained. Loren and Michele Hansen

She said they hope the studio can be used to help tell UM’s story, and College of Business Dean Chris Shook agrees.

“All of our key audiences — current students, potential students, and other stakeholders — are using video and high-quality audio to consume information, now and into the future,” said Shook, Sprunk and Burnham Endowed Dean of the College of Business. “The Hansens’ gift is powerful because it gives us the space and the technology to reach those audiences on their preferred platforms. We are grateful for this visionary gift.”

The lab is split into two areas, one dedicated to audio and another to video. Known as “Studio 49,” the audio recording space is a gift from Loren to Michele for their 49th wedding anniversary.

Studio 49 includes sound dampening panels and glass and will be the home of A New Angle podcast. The weekly College of Business podcast has nearly 40,000 listens and has become an important outlet for prominent voices in the UM and Western Montana communities since launching in February 2018.

“We can’t thank the Hansens enough for this incredible gift,” said podcast host Justin Angle, associate professor of marketing and the Warren and Betsy Wilcox Faculty Fellow. “Their generosity allows us to better connect with our students and others in the community. The podcast is a piece of that connection and we are excited to have a home that enables top quality audio and a professional guest experience.”

The lab also includes an area dedicated to video that offers multiple backdrop options and lighting solutions for creating professional-grade recordings. A simple interface will allow faculty to easily record presentations for classes or other purposes.

Western and modern art fans, the Hansens also donated a painting by Impressionist artist Robert Krogle that hangs in the new studio. Fittingly, the painting depicts two grizzly bears interacting and is called “Communication.”

The College of Business will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Loren and Michele Hansen Media Lab later this spring, but the space on the third floor of Gallagher Business Building is operational and already helping faculty and staff generate fresh content.

Photos: Top, podcast host and marketing professor Justin Angle in Studio 49. Inline, UM alumni and donors Loren and Michele Hansen.