Q&A with past presidents of the ComArtSci alumni board: Ed Deeb

Ed Deeb 

Founder and Chairman, Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation 
Metro Detroit Youth Day 

Deeb is the founding member of the ComArtSci Alumni Board. He is a 1960 advertising graduate and a 1979 recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award. Deeb served as president of the alumni board from 1971 to 1972. ComArtSci also established an Edward Deeb conference room in the building. 

What was it like serving as president of the ComArtSci alumni board? 

The College of Comm Arts and Sciences alumni board was the newest alumni program in the university. 

I had just received a call from Jack Breslin who wanted me to meet him and some of the professors from Comm Arts for a meeting and luncheon in East Lansing.  They said to me that they were forming this new program and they called me to become the coordinator of the Comm Arts Alumni Association because they felt I knew more about the area since my major was advertising and journalism. Obviously, I did not want to make a mistake in this important project. 

Shortly thereafter, the dean of the College of Comm Arts and Mr. Breslin called me and said they wanted to have a meeting of the new Comm Arts organization and select the members of the board of directors. We met at Coral Gables restaurant and put together a board representative of all facets of the College of Comm Arts area, then two weeks later we held our first meeting as a board.     

Following dinner at Coral Gables I announced that those at the table were to be the first board members of [ComArtSci] Alumni Association. They all agreed. 

We decided that in the forthcoming football season that we should select 2 prominent alumni (a man and a woman) to receive our first awards from our new college. We met at Kellogg Center, and after presenting the awards we all walked to the stadium to watch the football game as a group. 

In the days and weeks that followed, I got a call from Jack Breslin once again, and he wanted me to come to campus at a selected date. He wouldn’t tell me what it was about. When I got there, I found a row of tents and silver shovels in the ground. He saw me and waved me over. He was glad I came in for the ceremony. It was to announce the groundbreaking for the brand new [ComArtSci] building. I was overwhelmed to have that honor to be there. Once the ceremony was completed, we began our programs to build the association from 200 alumni members to 2,100 which was a wonderful feeling. 

The very first meeting of the total Comm Arts group was held in the MSU auditorium. More than 250 alumni attended. I thanked everyone for attending and stated that in the future the Comm Arts program could be one of the biggest at MSU.

How has your MSU degree or experience benefited your career? 

Being an MSU graduate from Comm Arts gave me the information I needed to discuss promotions and advertising in a possible new job. I had just finished my stint in the U.S. Air Force and began looking for a job. I was told to try to reach someone in the Adcraft group. I went to one of the luncheons and met with the president, Toby David, and told him I was new to the area and wanted to find a job in advertising or promotions. He said, “I think I know a place for you for you, Shamie Publications, who are looking for somebody because one of their people left.” I did go to the publishing company, and they offered me a job. 

I eventually took a job in the newly formed Association of Grocery Dealers in Michigan. There were only about 65 active members because they never had any promotional programs. I accepted the job and began a statewide promotion of the food industry and this new association, and we grew to 5,000 members over the years. My education at MSU really paid off. Since then, I have been asked to serve on numerous boards of directors in the state of Michigan and have received numerous awards for assisting them and guiding their organizations to be more successful than they were. 

What is your hope for the future of ComArtSci? 

The future, in my opinion, will be outstanding in that promotion, writing, assisting companies with this field will be paramount and important over the years. The areas served in ComArtSci will play a significant role in the future of advertising, promotions, movies, etc. 

What role can alumni play in the future of ComArtSci? 

The role in future for ComArtsSci will be one of the most important areas in the publishing and the various industries. You have, therefore, people in communications, writing, TV, movies, etc. and anyone in this field will probably be a huge success if they are willing to work at what they learned in ComArtSci. Therefore, the future is unlimited and will probably draw a lot of future students and alumni to ComArtSci to learn more than they already know.