Seymour Retires, Leaves Lasting Legacy

ST. LOUIS (JUNE 3, 2015) – Earlier this year, Associate Professor of advertising and marketing communications Susan Seymour announced her plans to retire from Webster University. Accordingly, she scaled back her teaching and other commitments during her final semester and has spent the past few weeks packing and moving out of her office.  

Along with textbooks, awards won, and mementos from 23 years of teaching, she has been packing flamingo knick-knacks and a beach scene that covered an entire wall. During a reception in honor of her retirement, Susan Seymour received an adoption certificate for a Caribbean flamingo at the St. Louis Zoo and a hot pink stuffed flamingo from her friends and colleagues in the School of Communications - a nod to her love of sunbathing as well as to her collection.

Susan Seymour with stuffed flamingoEric Rothenbuhler, dean of the School of Communications said, “She is a special character and there will be no replacing that, but the ongoing success of the program she helped build is a testament to her legacy.”

“Susan Seymour was the School's first full-time faculty member in advertising and marketing communications. She has had a huge influence on the design and implementation of that curriculum, and on the recruiting of the other advertising faculty members, including our top notch fleet of adjunct instructors. Under Susan's leadership our advertising program has excelled and become the model our peer institutions emulate,” Rothenbuhler continued.  

Seymour also launched the School’s Marketing Communication Club (MCC). The club has hosted events in cooperation with Ad Club St. Louis including a “Mad Men” party and costume contest.

It was Susan Seymour who first sent a team of students to compete in the American Advertising Federation's (AAF) National Student Advertising Competition. Participating in the competition is now an annual tradition, and Webster University students have an impressive winning history. Referring to Seymour’s contributions to the School, Associate Professor Sally Howald acknowledged “All of this came about because of Susan’s vision and hard work.”3 Advertising faculty members, Webster University

Throughout her teaching career, Susan Seymour has most enjoyed seeing the progression of students through their program majors and into rewarding careers in marketing communications. She explained that she gauges her success as a teacher by the success of former students. “My accomplishments are what my students accomplish, in school and after graduation.” She said she tries to instill in them “the importance of separating oneself from the message and really getting to know the audience and their needs.”

In addition to teaching, Susan Seymour has served as the School of Communications director of graduate studies for 8 years. Other administrative roles she has held include advertising and marketing communications program coordinator, interim director at Webster University's London campus and most recently, interim academic director of the Thailand campus. “Serving at two international campuses in addition to the home campus is such a wonderful opportunity that you wouldn’t get at many other colleges and universities,” she said.

Susan Seymour with students at BMA dinnerBefore joining Webster University, Susan Seymour spent more than 15 years working in marketing communications for several large corporations including Anheuser-Busch and Southwestern Bell (SWB). While working at SWB, she met former School of Communications Dean Debra Carpenter.

Carpenter said, “My respect for Susan Seymour’s expertise in advertising began when we worked together at Southwestern Bell. I always felt it was lucky for the students that we were later able to talk her into coming to Webster to build the advertising and marketing communications program.”

Susan Seymour hopes to have left behind “a very strong, unique program in marketing communications.” Susan Seymour has been honored with the distinction of Associate Professor Emeritus.

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