SOC Dean Shines at Welcome Reception | Webster University

SOC Dean Shines at Welcome Reception

Rothenbuhler impresses alumni and others, builds important support

Jennifer Gerhardt attended the reception at the St. Louis Club on Wednesday, February 20 to officially welcome Webster University School of Communications Dean Eric Rothenbuhler. After meeting him,she found Rothenbuhler to be engaging and charismatic. She described him as “a good communicator with a lot of big ideas and a lot of energy - enough energy to make them happen.” Rothenbuhler presented some of those ideas as he spoke about the changes in the media industry and his vision for the School of Communications. His remarks are available in "A Bigger, Bolder, and Stronger School of Communications."Dean Rothenbuhler with Dan Dreyfus, Ann Brennan Buss, and Jennifer Gerhardt

Gerhardt is an account executive at American Direct Marketing Resources and a 2006 alumna of the School of Communications (SOC) at Webster University. She earned an MA in advertising and marketing communications.

Bob Davidson is a 2002 alumnus of the SOC who earned an MA in public relations. He is also an adjunct instructor, a professional communicator, and an involved member of the community at large. Davidson explained that it was important for him to attend the reception and to meet the new dean. "The person in that position has a great deal of influence over the course of our collective enterprise. I wanted to meet him and to hear his thoughts and plans for the School."Bob Davidson with Gary Ford at Rothenbuhler reception

Davidson was particularly interested in what Eric Rothenbuhler had to say about using new forms of media and was impressed with his goal for the SOC to be much more visible on a national level. Davidson described the "really good energy" he felt throughout the crowd at the reception. He noted his own excitement with the direction Rothenbuhler is taking the School and thought his remarks were an "enticing look into what the future holds for the School of Communications." Bob Davidson is the regional executive director of marketing and communications for Mercy (Health).  

Interim SOC associate dean Kit Jenkins suggested the reception gave Dean Rothenbuhler an opportunity to meet and connect with some important alumni who care a lot about the School. She described Rothenbuhler as "affable" and believes he will be able to work with them (and other constituents) in the future to enhance (the School's) reputation and national standing. 

Debra Carpenter had a unique perspective as a professor and former dean of the School of Communications. She observed that Eric Rothenbuhler was "received warmly by those who knew him and welcomed by others who were meeting him for the first time." She characterized the people who attended the reception as having “a stake in and a passion for” the SOC. “Having been in the position, I know it takes a big team of people with a passion for education and students to build a successful environment for learning. By seeing the people who were at the reception, I feel confident those people continue to support the values of the School.”Rothenbuhler reception at St. Louis Club

Members of the SOC advisory board, local business partners, university administrators including President Elizabeth (Beth) Stroble and Provost and Senior Vice President Julian Schuster, donors, faculty, staff, alumni, Jane Rothenbuhler and other supporters and friends also turned out to welcome Eric Rothenbuhler.

The Webster University School of Communications prepares students in three academic departments to excel as skilled professionals in the global communications field. The School provides a hands-on approach to learning that is grounded in the University's liberal arts foundation and commitment to global education. Sixteen undergraduate programs, five graduate degree programs and 12 minors cover the wide array of communications specialties and are taught by faculty who are theorists and practitioners. Students work with professional-grade media equipment, take courses at Webster's U.S., European and Asian campuses, participate in robust field experiences and internships, and, along with faculty and alumni, are routinely recognized for their professional accomplishments.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University ( is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military, online and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to ensuring high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

Updated 7/2018