In 1957, Dr. Harry Hepner (Syracuse University) presented the idea of an
organization for advertising educators to Robert Feemster, advertising director for The Wall Street Journal
and chairman of the Advertising Federation of America. Feemster agreed such an organization would be a good idea
and asked Dr. J. Leroy Thompson, first director of the Dow Jones' Educational Service Bureau, to invite teachers to
attend the 1958 Dallas AFA convention.
Attending that first 1958 Dallas meeting were:
Hepner explained that there was no organization servicing advertising teachers in
business and journalism schools. Gross and Drake, active in the national professional advertising fraternity Alpha
Delta Sigma, did not join the Academy at the beginning. The others decided to proceed with the framework of an
organization and named interim officers. At Hepner's recommendation, academic titles were used for the officers:
Hepner as National Dean; Ross as National Associate Dean; George T. Clark, New York University, as National
Registrar; and McCabe as National Bursar. The first year was devoted to increasing membership and developing a
structure. The second national meeting was held in Minneapolis, June 7-10, 1959. The interim officers were elected
to continue in their positions for a one-year term.
- Donald Davis (Pennsylvania State Univ.)
- Frank McCabe (Providence, R.I.)
- Jerry Drake (Southern Methodist Univ.)
- Royal H. Ray (Florida State Univ.)
- Milton Gross (Univ. of Missouri)
- Billy I. Ross (Univ. of Houston)
- Harry Hepner (Syracuse Univ.)
- J. Leroy Thompson (Dow Jones Educational Service Bureau)
- Donald G. Hileman (Southern Illinois Univ.)
At the 1960 Academy meeting in New York City, Hepner was named the First Academy
During the 1960-61 year, membership grew from 123 members to 241. The Academy
established relations with the Association of National Advertisers, Association of Industrial Advertisers, and the
American Association of Advertising Agencies.
Today, the Academy has over 600 members. The Executive Committee of the Academy,
which meets twice a year, consists of a President, President-Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Past
President and Executive Secretary; the nationally-elected President of the Academy annually appoints over 100
members to approximately 15 committees. The Academy maintains relationships with many advertising-related
associations, including the INAME and the Accreditation Council for Education in Journalism and Mass
Among the purposes of the Academy listed in the 1962 Yearbook
These purposes are mirrored in the objectives of Article II of today's Academy
- To coordinate efforts to advance advertising education;
- To emphasize the value of professional education for advertising;
- To study, evaluate and improve advertising education;
- To stimulate research concerning advertising education;
- To develop closer liaison between academic disciplines; and
- To encourage closer cooperation between teachers of advertising.
The March 1963 AAA Newsletter carried two articles: "Education for the
Trustees of 12 Billion Dollars Per Year," by Otto Kleppner, and "Scandinavian Advertising," by Royal Ray. By March
1964, the Newsletter carried articles by Arnold Barban (Univ. of Houston), Charles J. Dirksen (Univ. of
Santa Clara), George T. Clarke (New York Univ.), Louis C. Wagner (Univ. of Washington), and Ed McGee.
Today, the Academy continues to publish the AAA Newsletter, as well as the
scholarly Journal of Advertising, and the Proceedings of the Annual Conference.
(Abstracted from writings of Billy I. Ross, founding