In April 2011, Dr. Henry Givens Jr, president of Harris-Stowe State announced his retirement from the University after serving in the role for more than 32 years. During his tenure, the University increased its number of degree programs for one to 14, grew from one building to eight, and positively influenced and touched tens of thousands of lives in the community.
In addition to his service to Harris-Stowe, Dr. Givens had been a prominent leader in the St. Louis region and beyond. He served on numerous corporate boards and was also the founding chairman of the Dr. Martin Luther King Statewide Celebration Commission for Missouri, a position he held for more than 25 years. He was also appointed by President Obama to serve on the HBCU Capital Finance Program Advisory Board.
Major news and educational reporters in the St. Louis area including both broadcast and print.
Dr. Givens chose to announce the news of his retirement through a press conference held the morning of April 11, 2011. As Harris-Stowe’s outside PR counsel, Schumacher Creative was responsible for developing the press materials for the event, pitching the story to the media, assisting the media at the press conference, and working with the media to ensure the story of Dr. Givens’ retirement and his career accomplishments were portrayed accurately and fair. Due to the client’s desire to keep the announcement a secret prior to the press conference, all of these activities needed to take place within a 24-hour period.
Materials for the press conference, including a media alert, press release, school fact sheet, and career highlights document for were quickly written. The media alert was sent to outlets within the St. Louis area notifying them of the historic announcement less than 24-hours prior to the event. Media packets were prepared and follow-up phone calls were also made to ensure each of the media, who had been identified as being key, knew the significance of the event and were urged to attend.