Meet Tom Lange | Webster University

Meet Tom Lange

ST. LOUIS (June 5, 2018) – A few weeks have passed since the Webster University commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12. The excitement of the day has been replaced with the anticipation of receiving your diploma in the mail and the anxiety of waiting to hear back about that perfect job after the interview you know you aced.

Eric Rothenbuhler with Tom Lange at 2018 SOC CommencementTom Lange spoke at the School of Communications commencement ceremony as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award. It’s possible that in your zeal to graduate, you may not have fully absorbed the lessons he was sharing. Here's a chance to learn more about him.

Thomas L. Lange is the assistant vice president of Corporate Communications at Union Pacific, a Fortune 150 company. It’s the world's largest publicly traded freight railroad and has been named Fortune's Most Admired in the industry eight times. He’s been with Union Pacific since September 2008 when he started as the director of Corporate Communications. He has also held progressively responsible communications positions at Fleishman-Hillard, the U.S. Soccer Federation, and Smurfit-Stone.

Lange is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the Public Relations Society of America, the National Press Club, the Association of National Advertisers, the Forbes Communications Council, and the Webster University School of Communications advisory board.

Lange earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Webster University in 2007 as a self-described “forty-something adult.” He refers to his Webster experience as “transformational to [his] career.” The Outstanding Alumnus Award is an honor he received for achieving outstanding success and recognition in his profession and through his service.

Lange’s commencement address is worth revisiting. In it, he suggests what you may find in your first job, how you may begin building your career in your second job, choices you may encounter on your career path, stepping outside of your comfort zones, and fulfilling your professional passion.

He answered questions delving further into his 35 years of communications expertise and other advice he had for recent communication graduates.

For example, Lange shared a communications mistake from his days at Fleishman-Hillard (FH). He was asked to write a speech for an Anheuser-Busch executive. He wrote it and left it on the desk of the FH partner who had requested it, thinking he had hit it out of the ballpark. The next morning, Lange found it back on his own desk with only two words on the last page, "Start over."

The lesson he learned from that assignment early in his career and that he would like to share is, “Humility is a great trait for all of us to cultivate.”Eric Rothenbuhler and Mrs. & Mr. Lange at Commencement Dinner

When asked about what advice he had for communication students, Lange wrote, “I tell our interns that they build their personal and professional brands with every interaction, assignment, and social media post. A company can spend decades constructing a positive reputation only to have it diminished by a single incident. The same holds true for individuals so give your absolute best effort to every assignment and be willing to accept feedback.”

He holds himself to the same standards and enjoys working with people who “share his passion for communications excellence.” He defines excellence as “continuously improving and putting in the time and effort to deliver your best work every time.”

As a senior communications executive, Tom Lange’s responsibilities span functions from media relations and crisis management to employee and human resources communications, to C-suite communications and counseling, to branding and creative services, and beyond.

Communications he and his team produce can improve the company's reputation, contribute to annual sales, revenue and earnings per share, impact public safety awareness, and reduce injuries and fatalities. It’s a huge responsibility – one Tom Lange is proud of and takes very seriously.

Tom Lange has a passion for writing and for the field of communications. He was honored to receive the 2018 Outstanding Alumnus Award and to be asked to speak at Commencement. His advice came from his experience and from his heart.