Patricia Stout

After a $10 million campaign, the Department of Advertising and Public Relations will become the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations. 

The school will be named after Stan Richards, the founder of the largest independently-owned advertising agency in the world, The Richards Group. According to Roderick Hart, outgoing dean of the Moody College of Communication, advertising professor Patricia Stout will be the new director of the school. 

Isabella Cunningham, advertising professor and outgoing chair of the department, said Richards has always supported the advertising and public relations department at UT. 

“He wanted [UT] to continue to be number one in advertising when it came to faculty and resources,” Cunningham said. “When we set out to raise funds five years ago, there wasn’t really a trend in advertising agencies giving to higher education. Stan Richards has changed all that. … Richards has hired some of the best students in advertising, as well as making monetary contributions.”

Advertising professor John Murphy said the department has worked with Richards for more than 30 years. 

“The school for advertising and public relations at UT finally adopting Mr. Richards’ name is just a public display of the relationship that has existed for many years,” Murphy said. “Being able to associate with Richards openly is a huge feather in our cap as a department. We, here at UT, share in Mr. Richards’ idea of striving for perfection in our work.”

The department has been working toward this transition for several years, Hart said.

“We are flattered and honored to share names with Stan Richards; no one is more deserving,” Hart said. “Stan is an advertising legend. We are very thankful for everything he has done for the department and will continue to do for the school.”

According to Hart, schools tend to have more regard and are better at graduate job placement than departments are. 

“The future of the school for advertising and public relations is in the youthful and energetic hands of the exceptional new faculty and the new director of the school, Patricia Stout,” Hart said.

The Moody College will hold an event celebrating the change on Sept. 23 in the Belo Center for New Media.

Correction: This story inaccurately reported The Richards Group is the largest advertising agency in the world. It is, in fact, the world's largest independently-owned advertising agency.

Patricia Stout has just become chair for the department of advertising and public relations in the Moody College of Communication. According to Stout, her goal is to encourage faculty and students to continue adapting to new media.

Patricia Stout, who has been a professor in the department of advertising and public relations since 1984, was named chair of the department Wednesday. Stout said she looks forward to taking on the new position during a time of growth in the college.

“Advertising is a large department … [and] we are at a very strong point relative to the students in our major,” Stout said. “We have a really great group of faculty and I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the role of chair of the department.”

Stout will replace advertising professor and current department chair Isabella Cunningham, who will return to full-time teaching.

“I have done it for 20 years and I am happy to have done the job,” Cunningham said. “I’m looking forward to working with my graduate students and my undergraduate students, and I’m excited about being able to develop the internship [program] more.”

Stout said she her first goal for the coming year is to focus on encouraging faculty and students in the department to keep using their strengths and adapting to new media.

“Technology drives how persuasive messages are delivered and the need for creating innovative messages,” Stout said “I’m anticipating our students will be prepared and take a lead in the evolution relative to technology, communication, advertising and public relations.”

Advertising senior Alysia Chen said she enjoys how professors try to make classroom knowledge applicable to real world situations, but she hopes advertising students can take public relations classes and have better access to software.

“I think it could be really useful to have a class or at least more access to programs like the Adobe Creative Suite … and free printing,” Chen said. “I think that those who are not necessarily in the Texas Creative program, but want to pursue a career in that area should have the opportunity to do so.”

During her time as chair, Stout said she wants to interact with students both formally and informally.

“I know there are a lot of student organizations that are a part of the college and part of our department and to be able to interact with them and understand more of what the goals are for those groups,” Stout said. “Our students are really super [and] I’m very impressed with [them] at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral level.”