The Gidel/Lombardo Family Fund for Academic and Program Excellence was established in 2006 by Robert and Linda Gidel and members the Lombardo family. This fund honors their son, Robert (Rob) W. Gidel, a 2006 graduate of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications.
Funds from the endowment may be used to support scholarships, internships, workshops, distinguished alumni lectures, student travel, seminar speakers, publications, extracurricular student organizations and clubs, student recruitment and other related activities, such as the Gidel/Lombardo Lecture in Sports Communication, based on Rob's interest in sports broadcasting.
The Gidel/Lombardo Lecture in Sports Communication features a sports journalist, sports publicist or other sports communicator. The first lecture in 2010 was delivered by NBC sportscaster Bob Costas.
2017 Dick Enberg, NBC sportscaster
2015 Panel of specialists discussing journalism and event marketing aspects of Thoroughbred horse racing Jim Mulvihill, director of media and industry relations at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and president of the Turf Publicists of America (moderator). Panelists included: Kip Cornett, founder and current president and CEO of strategic communication agency Team Cornett and current chair of the Breeders’ Cup Festival Week Host Committee; Amanda Duckworth, North American editor of Gallop Magazine, a communications consultant for the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, and a horse racing columnist for ESPN.com; Tom Hammond, a 30-year reporter for NBC Sports synonymous with Thoroughbred racing in the Bluegrass and across the globe; and Christa Marrillia, director of marketing for Keeneland Racecourse.
2011 Ken Schanzer, NBC Sports
2010 Bob Costas, NBC Sports