On Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, Ray Simon, professor emeritus of public relations and journalism, passed away. He was 102.
Professor Simon's legacy is woven into the fabric of Utica College. Nearly 70 years ago, he founded one of the country's first undergraduate programs in public relations at UC. Today, he is internationally regarded both by academics and practitioners in the field as the "father of public relations education".
He is credited with introducing thousands of students to the practice of public relations, not only those whom he taught at UC, but students across the country and even around the world. His numerous textbooks served as the national academic standards for decades.
Among his many professional accolades, in 1999, PRWeek named Professor Simon one of the top 100 most influential public relations practitioners of the 20th century. In 1975, the Public Relations Society of America named him the outstanding PR educator in the country.
Professor Simon taught at UC for 36 years. He is the only professor in the College's history to have been honored twice with the Crisafulli Distinguished Teaching Award, which he received in 1975 and 1984. In 1996, the Utica College Board of Trustees awarded him an honorary doctor of humane letters. His contributions and influence are most visible, however, in the remarkable professional success of his former students.
Calling hours for Professor Emeritus Ray Simon will be this Saturday, Nov. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Friedel, Williams & Edmunds Funeral Home, 13 Oxford Road, New Hartford.
Funeral services are private and are being held at the convenience of the family. Utica College is planning to host a memorial service on the UC campus in January. We will provide additional information once plans have been finalized.