Ron Mulliken ’82, an advertising executive with national media companies including The New Yorker and Entertainment Weekly, will be the commencement speaker during LC’s graduation exercises at 10 a.m. May 18, 2013.
About 510 undergraduates and 140 graduate students will receive their degrees, including LC’s first doctor of physical therapy (DPT) class of 44. About 25 percent of the undergraduates studied abroad. Check the graduation-week schedule.
A 1982 graduate of University of Lynchburg, Mulliken has been an accomplished advertising executive for more than 30 years. He is currently with Marchex, a leading mobile advertising company.
His career started in the media department of Madison Avenue advertising agency, Lord Geller Federico Einstein, which was cited by Adweek in 1984 as “Agency of the Year.” After being named “Rookie of the Year” by the agency, Mulliken accepted a position as advertising sales executive for The New Yorker.
After being promoted to the Los Angeles office, Mulliken was named to Advertising Age’s list of the “100 Best & Brightest” media figures in 1985.
Mulliken joined the Time Inc. Magazine Company in 1989 where he was selected to be on the launch team for Entertainment Weekly. In 1996, after being moved to People Weekly, Mulliken secured the largest single-magazine advertising deal in history with a $7.3 million program for Carnival Cruise Lines.
Recognizing the changing patterns of media consumption and the rise of digital media importance, Mulliken joined Atlanta-based internet start-up, Last Minute Travel.com as executive vice president, sales, in 1999 where he was responsible for driving more than $5 million in advertising and investment revenue to the new company in its first year.
In 2004, Mulliken was lured back to Time Inc. where he was named Advertising Director of Golf Magazine and, in 2006, he became vice president, associate publisher of Travel + Leisure, where he presided over the magazine’s highest ad revenue year in its history.
With an intense interest to stay current with evolving media trends, Mulliken joined WPP’s Kantar Media where he managed its competitive media reporting business for ad agencies and advertisers from 2009 to 2011. In that role, Mulliken had firsthand insight into how ad agencies weighted the importance of an expanding array of media options.
Seeking to return to his media sales roots, Mulliken accepted a position as SVP/Social Strategy with Socialtyze in 2011. Late last year, Mulliken joined Marchex as vice president, sales.
Mulliken lives in Darien, Connecticut, and is married to Suzanne Jones Mulliken, an attorney. They have three children – Katie, age 16, Connor, 14, and Ryan, 10. Mulliken is a member of Noroton Presbyterian Church, the Country Club of Darien and has been an active coach of his kids’ football, baseball, basketball and softball teams over the years. He is passionate about travel, golf, food, and wine and strives to make each day count while serving as a positive role model for family, friends and business associates.
University of Lynchburg will also award four honorary degrees:
Doctor of Humane Letters to E. Cabell Brand, founder and chairman of the Cabell Brand Center for Global Poverty and Resource Sustainability Studies, member of the Alumni-Advisory Committee of Shepard Poverty Program at Washington & Lee University, and director for the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine;
Doctor of Humane Letters to Joan Foster ’69, ’70 MAT, ’85 MEd, the first woman ever to serve as mayor of Lynchburg (July, 2006 – June 30, 2012) and director of community relations at Presbyterian Homes and Family Services and the Family Alliance;
Doctor of Divinity to the Rev. Robert Nelson West Sr. ’50, former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), management consultant for Arthur D. Little, and executive director of two law firms in Boston; and
Doctor of Education to Helen Mundy Witt ’67, ’78 MEd, the first African-American to graduate from Lynchburg and a lifelong educator in Lynchburg City Schools.