"Without Rick we would not have each other." Rob Czyzewicz, KLN '10, credits meeting his business partner and cofounder of 20/20 Visual Media Patrick Rosenbaum, KLN '11, to their experiences at Temple Update and their time spent with studio manager Rick Beardsley. Both Czyzewicz and Rosenbaum emphasize that though Beardsley was not an official professor, he had an even greater impact on them than only of the lessons they learned in the classroom. Now, with the 10-year anniversary of Bearsley's passing coinciding with the 10-year anniversary of 20/20's founding, the two alumni have made the decision to endow the already-existing Rick Beardsley Award, a Media Studies and Production (MSP) scholarship to which they've given in the past, so that it can continue to help students in perpetuity.
Czyzewicz and Rosenbaum said that in addition their Temple Update technical work with Beardsley and the coursework with Betsy Leebron Tutelman, professor of Media Studies and Production and senior vice provost for strategic communications, there was something special about working with Beardsley around the clock to put Temple Update on the air every Thursday.
"But really, beyond the coursework and the learning, was just getting this genuine connection with [Beardsley]," Czyzewicz said. "Because he was never married, didn't have any kids -- this was his love."
Both Czyzewicz and Rosenbaum fondly remember scrambling on Wednesday nights into the wee hours of the morning to put together a Temple Update broadcast, only to be rewarded at the end of the night with pizza, soda and conversation in the studio with Beardsley and their peers.
"That hour that we would spend just eating the pizza and drinking the Pepsi and hanging out with Rick -- that was the tie that binded us together [sic]," Czyzewicz said. "The show was great and we all loved doing it, but it's those moments where we could all just sit and talk about family, and talk about what our hopes and dreams were -- those were really the things that made Rick a unique person, that I don't think that most people got from their professors."
Rosenbaum emphasized that Beardsley was particularly good at including students at all levels of skill and experience. "There were plenty of teachable moments. Whether it was with a student who thought they knew everything -- like me -- or a student who was struggling to turn on a camera, Rick would really just take the time to sit with every student," he said. "The studio door was pretty much always open, and a revolving door too with students in and out."
Though Beardsley passed just a month before they were able to start their own production company, the two agree that Beardsley's "fingerprints" are all over 20/20 Visual Media. After graduating from Klein College of Media and Communication in 2011, Rosenbaum found a job opportunity in TV production with Temple Athletics. Right away, he knew that he wanted to bring Czyzewicz along with him, and so 20/20 was born. The two say that in addition to their origin story, their Temple Update background gave them a television-industry edge that their film school-educated competitors can't match.
By endowing this already-existing scholarship, they are providing a way for the scholarship to continue to be a resource for students long after they are gone. But above all, Czyzewicz and Rosenbaum want to not only carry on Beardsley's tradition of helping Temple students reach their full potential in the television studio, but to carry his name forward as well. They say that as some of the last students Beardsley taught, they feel a connection with other Temple Update alumni who knew him, and hope that future generations ask about him and seek to continue his legacy.
Betsy Leebron Tutelman, who co-founded Temple Update and taught with Beardsley for years, is equally thrilled that his legacy will continue to benefit Klein students.
"I was delighted to hear that Rob and Patrick had made a gift to endow the Rick Beardsley Award Fund on the 10th anniversary of Rick's death and their 10th year in business," Leebron Tutelman said in an email. "Rick was an amazing educator and friend. He gave everything he had to Temple University and the Klein College students. What a wonderful honor Rob and Patrick have bestowed upon him in ensuring his legacy as they recognize the man who took them under his wings and helped them become the successful entrepreneurs they are today."
Still, Czyzewicz and Rosenbaum said, no gift could ever possibly match the gift that Beardsley gave to each of the students he helped to succeed.
"I would say Rick's gift was that he found the thing in you that you didn't know was there," Czyzewicz said. "That's what was amazing about him."