Letters From Stan

What’s in a Name?

Stan Richards

Dear Alex,

There’s really no way for me to make this note sound anything but self-serving. But since that is not at all my intent, I’m going to give it a try.

On September 23 at 4 p.m., in Austin, the University of Texas will hold a ceremony to rename their highly regarded advertising program the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations.

Of course, I’m honored. And quite humbled. As a blue-collar kid who grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from Pratt Institute in New York, I could never have imagined being asked to lend my name to anything, never mind a nationally recognized school in the state of Texas.

But it’s not my name on the school that makes me the most proud. (You know what’s coming, because we’ve talked about it many, many times.) It’s the work. It’s always been the work. And it always will be the work.

If it were practical, I’d name the school after everyone who’s made this honor possible. And all the bright, smart, talented young people yet to come (I never tire of interviewing new graduates, talking about their strengths, and offering them the opportunity to watch their careers unfold right here). Without all the talent that resides here or the clients who have the courage to say yes, the only building that would bear my name is the one in which we now sit.

And that would be honor enough.