Named Chairs & Professorships
HARRISON/OMNICOM PROFESSORSHIP IN INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS
The Harrison/Omnicom Professorship in Integrated Marketing Communications, established by Thomas L. Harrison, LH.D., is the WVU Reed College of Media’s first endowed professorship in IMC. The position is designed to help the College build cutting-edge curricula in advertising and integrated marketing communications and to raise the profile of the College on a national level.
A 1972 graduate of West Virginia University, Harrison serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Diversified Agency Services, a division of the Omnicom Group, the world’s largest advertising and marketing services agency. Harrison’s career brought him to Omnicom in 1992, when the firm he co-founded, Harrison & Star Business Group, was acquired. Harrison served as chairman of the Harrison & Star Group and Diversified Healthcare Communications, a group of eight healthcare agencies within Omnicom, until his appointment as president of DAS in 1997. He was named chairman and chief executive of DAS in 1998.
Harrison serves on a number of boards including the Montefiore Hospital, the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, ePocates and several marketing service companies. He is a member of the President’s Council at Tulane University School of Medicine, the New York University Steering Committee, is chairman of the Dean’s Council at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and is a trustee at The Kent School, a New England preparatory school. He has co-chaired the New York Chapter of the U.S. Olympic Committee and has been honored by Long Island College Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and the Lymphoma Foundation.
Harrison is also the author of the book, “INSTINCT Tapping Your Entrepreneurial DNA to Achieve Your Business Goals,” which was recently published by Warner Business Books. He has appeared on CNBC, CNNI, Bloomberg and Forbes.com to discuss the book. In 2006, Harrison was inducted into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
This position is currently vacant.
SHOTT CHAIR OF JOURNALISM
The Shott Chair of Journalism was created by an endowment from the Hugh I. Shott Jr. Foundation in honor of the Shott family for its more than 100-year history of leadership in West Virginia’s news media. The Chair is a faculty position in journalism – print, broadcast or new media – designed to enhance the quality of journalism education in the state.
International award-winning journalist, Lois Raimondo, is the current Shott Chair of Journalism at the College of Media.
The late Hugh I. Shott Jr. established The Shott Foundation in 1984. The late Ike Shott Sr. founded the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and the Daily Telegraph Printing Company in 1896. In 1929, the Shott family initiated SHIS, Bluefield’s first radio station. In 1948, they began WHIS-FM, a new broadcast service, and in 1955, they created WHIS-TV, Bluefield’s first television station.
Hugh I. Shott Jr. attended WVU in the early 1920s and served as a member of the WVU Board of Governors. Other family members who graduated from WVU include Mr. Schott’s nephews – the late Ned E. Shott ’39 and ’41, John C. Shott ’48, Hugh I. Shott ’50, and Scott H. Shott ’50.
WIDMEYER PROFESSORSHIP IN PUBLIC RELATIONS
The Widmeyer Professorship in Public Relations is the WVU College of Media’s first endowed professorship in public relations. The professorship allows the College to hire top faculty to teach public relations and integrated marketing at both an undergraduate and graduate level. Additionally, the professorship was created to provide leadership in curriculum development and innovation in the area of strategic communications.
The current Widmeyer Professor, Dr. Diana Martinelli, is an award-winning teacher and recognized scholar. She has presented original research, authored articles, served on industry association committees and developed new courses for both graduate and undergraduate students.
The Widmeyer Professorship in Public Relations was established Dec. 9, 2008, by Scott Widmeyer, Widmeyer Communications, and Scott’s parents, Douglas and Ruth Ann Widmeyer.
Scott Widmeyer, chairman and CEO of Widmeyer Communications, has a 30-year record of providing strategic thinking to scores of decision-makers from presidents to governors to CEOs to union leaders. From working as a newspaper reporter in the 1970s to running major media operations for national campaigns, Scott knows how to garner press coverage for his clients. His track record of success around reforming education, health care, campaign finances, technology, trade and other public policy matters illustrate his impact as a change agent on cutting edge issues. Clients turn regularly to Scott for advice on economic development matters, marketing strategies, coalition building and crisis management.
Scott founded his own firm in 1988, after holding major communications positions with five national leaders―former President Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Walter Mondale, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro and the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, Albert Shanker.
He was named a 2008 David Rockefeller Fellow, a program sponsored by the Partnership for New York City, which annually brings together leading executives to learn the workings of the public and private sector in America’s largest city. Scott also has served on the boards of the March of Dimes, GLAAD and the Victory Fund.
In addition to the endowed professorship, Scott has established two scholarship funds to benefit African American and first-generation West Virginians who are seeking degrees in journalism. In 2008, Scott and his parents also established the Douglas and Ruth Ann Widmeyer Endowed Journalism Scholarship for eligible undergraduate students.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the WVU School of Journalism in 1974 and was editor and managing editor of the campus daily newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum. In 2009, Scott was inducted into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni. He was awarded the “Distinguished West Virginian” award in 2005 by then Gov. Bob Wise. Widmeyer also serves as chair of the College of Media’s Advisory Committee.
Douglas and Ruth Ann Widmeyer are both natives of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. For some 40 years, they owned and operated Widmeyer’s Cleaners until selling it in the early 1990s. Both are graduates of Martinsburg High School, and Douglas attended Shepherd University. Douglas is a member of the Board of Directors for the WVUH-East hospital system and for nearly 10 years he served as chairman of the Berkeley County Democratic Party. Both are active in St. John’s Lutheran Church and Meals on Wheels.