As the third annual Charley Steiner Symposium for Sports Communication finished up on Tuesday, students of all years and majors heard from professionals regarding career paths in media and working in the professional sports field.
But according to Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner, students are not the only ones who benefit from the symposium.
“When I come back [to Bradley], I like to spend as much time as I can with the students because I find I can learn more from them and where they’re coming from now than they can learn from me,” Steiner, a Bradley alumnus, said. “[The students here] see the world differently than I do, and [they] should.”
Because of that, Steiner said he wanted the symposium to serve as a way for students to network and to cultivate expectations for their own futures.
“I [wanted] to bring a dose of reality to the students [to show them] this is what it’s really going to be like,” Steiner said.
One of the people Steiner invited was renowned television and radio host Larry King, who moderated the symposium’s closing panel, “The Rise and Fall of ESPN.” According to Steiner, he and King have been friends for over 30 years.
“Larry and I first met in 1977 or , somewhere around there,” Steiner said. “Through the years, we knew each other. When I moved out to LA in 2004, he’s always been a Dodger fan, [so] we kind of rekindled a friendship and became really good friends.”
Last week, King donated $1 million to form a scholarship fund that will support underrepresented communications students. Steiner said he was not involved in King’s decision to donate.
“One of the things I will never do, ever … I don’t ask people for money,” Steiner said. “Larry, who received an honorary [degree] from Bradley … has, because of our friendship, had this affection for Bradley. The money part, I don’t know. I knew they were talking about it.”
Since King’s appearance as Steiner’s first guest at the inaugural symposium in 2015, Steiner said the event has grown in ways he could have never imagined.
“It’s gotten better with each year,” Steiner said. “[In the] first year, it felt like we had to give away candy to get [students] into the [panels]. Today, they were actually lined up to get in [the auditorium] … and I’m thinking, ‘My God, we’re making some progress.’”
Those in attendance at the symposium said hearing from people who have been in the career field was helpful, especially when hearing from media veterans like King.
“King’s presence definitely made this event more appealing,” Younes Dayekh, a freshman sports communication major, said. “He is a legend amongst the broadcasting community, and it was cool to hear him firsthand.”
Other students said by listening to Steiner, King and other panelists speak, they were able to better understand how the media landscape has changed over the course of the past few decades.
“[Steiner] has made a huge impact in the department of communications, and what he is doing for the program will benefit us for years to come,” Emma Piotrowski, a freshman public relations major, said. “Being in the college of communications, it was interesting to hear how the industry has changed since King and Steiner were in my shoes. I am curious to see where it goes. I loved hearing old stories and their thoughts on the future.”
Steiner said the hard work and passion Bradley students put into their future careers are the most important skills they should carry with them.
“My mom told me when I was a kid, it’s the best advice I ever got, if you give 100 percent of yourself 100 percent of the time, and it doesn’t work out, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Steiner said. “But if you don’t give your 100 percent 100 percent of the time, then it’s your fault, so go all out, all the time.”
Finally, Steiner offered some life advice to students.
“[The skills you have are] what you see and how your see the world, your sensibilities. Nobody can teach you that. That’s you,” Steiner said. “You are who you are, and you can’t try to be another somebody. You can just be the best [version of] yourself.”