Bonnie Wan

Students hung on every word as this year’s Richard Ward Executive-in-Residence Bonnie Wan challenged them to embrace generosity and making small improvements in the world.

“It’s about how you can dedicate your creativity to an act of generosity,” Wan said during the Richard Ward Execute-in-Residence public event hosted by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication at the Ford Alumni Center.

Wan, long-standing Group Brand Strategy Director and newly-appointed Director of Leadership and Development at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, is the seventeenth high-level advertising executive to hold the SOJC’s esteemed title of Richard Ward Executive-in-Residence.

At the workshop, which received high praise from those in attendance, Wan challenged participants to find solutions to a lack of public awareness of sepsis, a potentially fatal blood infection. The seriousness of the issue struck an emotional chord with her audience, and she continued to inspire students through seminars and classroom visits January 15-17, 2014.

SOJC advertising major Taylor Tsuji, who attended Wan’s workshop, echoed her message of using advertising to affect positive change in the world.

“It’s not just like donating our money or donating our time; it’s actually using our creative minds and strategy in order to help solve huge problems in our society and even in the world,” said Tsuji. “That was pretty cool.”

Wan’s dedication to acts of generosity echoes that of Richard Ward, 1977 UO Business graduate, whose 2002 gift to the SOJC made Wan’s visit possible. Over the years, Ward’s philanthropy has brought in some of the highest-ranking men and women in the creative industry today, elevating discussion of cutting-edge ideas and key issues in advertising.

“The Ward Executive-in-Residence program has been an impetus in connecting students to innovation and thinking in advertising,” said Interim Edwin L. Artzt Dean Julianne Newton. “Richard’s endowment has gone far to support our vision for the SOJC, helping elevate it to the national level where it belongs.”

Notable past speakers include Rachel Howald of Young and Rubicam, Esther Franklin, senior vice president at Starcom MediaVest Group, Edward Boches and Ed Cotton, chief innovation officers at Mullen and Kevin Swanipold of The One Club.

“Each Richard Ward Executive-in-Residence has been masterful in both helping the SOJC get great visibility for what we’re doing here and also in growing us to a new level,” said Chambers Distinguished Professor of Advertising Deborah Morrison.

A 30-year veteran of the advertising industry, Ward is the CEO and founder of Atlanta-based 22squared, the sixth largest independent advertising agency in the U.S.

About the Richard Ward Executive-in-Residence program

The Ward Executive-In-Residence program, launched in 2002, brings in all-star advertising professionals for a week of student interaction, classes and the keynote event. The program was made possible by a gift from Richard Ward, a 1977 UO Business graduate and 30-year veteran of the advertising industry, now CEO and owner of 22Squared in Atlanta.