Dr. Mary Ann Stutts Says Goodbye to SJMC

Dr. Mary Ann StuttsDr. Mary Ann Stutts gave a tearful goodbye to SJMC faculty, staff and students at our annual Student Awards Ceremony held in Old Main last Friday. Stutts is retiring from the Department of Marketing in the McCoy College of Business Administration, and she has been an integral part of Texas State’s collaborative AAF presence over the last 32 years. She will be missed dearly in the SJMC. We wish Dr. Stutts the best in her new season of life, and you can find her letter below:

What a wonderful retirement send off last Friday when I attended the Journalism and Mass Communication Award Ceremony and to be recognized for my part in the last 32 years of the prestigious AAF Competition at Texas State.

It truly began 32 years ago when I convinced Michael McBride to join me on the greatest adventure of my career—the AAF Competition .  I was convinced then, and I’m still convinced now, that there are many reasons for the tremendous success that AAF teams at Texas State have had over the last 32 years, including two national championships and many Top Four places at district and national.  One reason is the talented and dedicated students who devote their entire fall and/or spring semester to putting together a winning campaign. Another major reason is the “interdisciplinary” approach at Texas State that includes talented students from marketing, advertising, communication design and public relations.  Many schools across the country have tried to copy this but Texas State remains the best at it, in my opinion.

The journalism and mass commucation faculty adopted me immediately in 1983 and never let go.  I have always felt welcome and, in fact, consider Old Main my second home.  I prefer to work in Old Main during spring break for many reasons.  While I like the business feel of McCoy, putting the AAF campaign together should always be done in Old Main, in my opinion.  It has so much history, the students and I love the second floor because it feels like an agency, and they are free the entire week to put together a campaign.  The memories and bonding that take place that week among the students and the faculty advisors lasts a lifetime, and for that I will be forever grateful.  I have watched many talented students go into the advertising industry, that in turn built a positive reputation for Texas State, obviously in Texas, but also in New York and elsewhere across the country.

I am privileged to have had the best co-advisors anyone could ask for that bring left and right brain talents together to create incredible campaigns, win or lose.  I can’t name all the co-advisors, but here are a few some of you may recall:  Michael McBride, Danal Terry, Jody Gibson, Roy Kelsey, and of course Alexander Muk.

The AAF students, going back to 1983, have made Texas State proud, as well as a team to be “reckoned” with, going from that sleepy little “party” school to one that has standing room only when they present.  The students, regardless of major, have a wonderful portfolio to show prospective employers.

My hope is that the partnership between marketing, advertising, communication design and public relations continues long after I’m gone.

Thank you again for allowing me to part of this great journey and for graciously allowing me to “hang out” in Old Main each spring.

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