Ron Spielberger was ‘Mr. CMA’

Colleagues praise former director’s contributions to college media and the CMA

From CMR staff reports

Ron_SpeilbergerRon Spielberger — called “Mr. CMA” by many admirers — has died, the College Media Association announced today.

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Click to open link with Memorial Park Funeral Home

“We are heartbroken to hear of Ron’s passing,” Kelley Lash, CMA president, said. “Ron was the consummate gentleman, a kind soul and a wealth of information, advice and support.”

Spielberger served as CMA’s executive director for almost three decades, 1982-2011, CMA’s longest serving executive director.

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Ron Spielberger, a prolific contributor to CMR, was the cover choice as he capped nearly three decades of service to CMA. Click for link to 2011 tribute article. (Photo: Bill Neville)

Spielberger was a frequent contributor to College Media Review, often contributing research articles that were the results of a long time collaboration with former CMA President Lillian Kopenhaver as they gathered information and explored the impact of college media programs nationwide.

“Serving CMA as executive director for nearly three decades, Ron was the face of CMA for many, working behind the scenes to make sure the spotlight was focused on issues of importance and on the work of others,” said CMR Webmaster Bill Neville, former CMA treasurer. “He seemed to treat CMA like family, knowing families squabble at times but still pull together for the good of all.”

In the executive director position, he coordinated numerous fall and spring conventions, summer workshops and other association events. After leaving the position, he continued to serve CMA by chairing the Hall of Fame committee, serving on the advisory council and presenting sessions.

Spielberger with CMA President Kelley Lash
Spielberger with CMA President Kelley Lash

“If you asked Ron Spielberger what his job was with College Media Association, he’d smile and say, ‘I’m in the making people happy business,'” Neville added. “Ron made it look easy. Juggling the needs of members, convention management, and innumerable behind the scenes details often taken for granted, while remembering that our members are advocates for the student journalists we serve. Ron did what he set out to do — he made people happy.”

Continue reading Ron Spielberger was ‘Mr. CMA’

A remembrance: Patricia Roberts

Elisabetta Zengaro and Patricia Roberts. (Photo: Matteo Zengaro)
Elisabetta Zengaro and Patricia Roberts. (Photo: Matteo Zengaro)

Delta State’s adviser loses battle with cancer

 By Elisabetta Zengaro and Debra Chandler Landis
Special to College Media Review

While the late Patricia Roberts battled ovarian cancer, she also fought for college journalism at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.

She did both with grit and grace, and her journalistic legacy continues, say those who knew her.

Roberts, 66, adviser to The Delta Statement student newspaper and the university’s sole journalism professor, died Dec. 7 from complications from chemotherapy. A memorial service was held at the Bishop-King Funeral Home in Lake Village, Arkansas, on Dec. 11.

In spring 2015, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees approved the discontinuation of five academic programs, including journalism, communications/theater studies, and modern foreign languages, at Delta State University.

The university also decided to eliminate money for printing of The Delta Statement.

Roberts told the Student Press Law Center, Huffington Post and other media organizations the plan to eliminate the journalism program was announced after a Statement story about a lawsuit a former Division of Languages and Literature chairman filed against Bill LaForge, Delta State University president. However, LaForge denied the move was retaliatory, and said the $1 million budget cuts were university-wide.

Throughout it all, Roberts never lost hope. Continue reading A remembrance: Patricia Roberts