Former professor leaves lasting legacy at Utica College and beyond

The Utica College community is remembering a true pioneer in the public relations field, Raymond Simon, who died on Tuesday.

Posted: Nov. 9, 2017 9:01 AM

UTICA, NY-- The Utica College community is remembering a true pioneer in the public relations field, Raymond Simon, who died on Tuesday.

The former professor established the college's public relations and journalism program in 1950. He's know all over the country for being one of the most influential public relations writers of the 20th century, according to PRWeek.

"Raymond Simon had an enormous impact at Utica College," said Pat Swann, professor of public relations and journalism at the college. "He has literally thousands of former students, who really credit him with their success."

Some of those alumni are CEO's of well-known public relations firms, such as Ketchum. Other alumni have gone on to work for NBC, the Wall Street Journal, General Motors and DreamsWorks, to name a few.

"As he grew into his role as a teacher, he began to write textbooks because there were no textbooks back in the '50s for a rather young field of public relations," Swann said."He’s actually known as the father of public relations education because of his far-reaching influence with his textbooks."

The college named UC's public relations and journalism programs in his honor, known as The Raymond Simon Institute for Public Relations in 1986. The Raymond Simon Convergence Media Center is equipped with a studio for news and interviews, a green screen and high definition television cameras. There is also a control room, an audio booth, an editing room and a multimedia classroom to provide a hands-on learning environment for students.

Since then the institute has provided scholarships and cash awards, made possible through contributions from alumni, according to the college website. Swann said more than $250,000 has been awarded since its inception.

Simon was 102-years-old.

Calling hours for Professor Emeritus Ray Simon will be Saturday, Nov. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Friedel, Williams & Edmunds Funeral Home, 13 Oxford Road, New Hartford. Internment is at the convenience of the family. Utica College is planning to host a memorial service on the UC campus in January.

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