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Charles R. Aldrich

Higher Education and Advertising, Class of '66

Why did you become an English Major?

It was always important to me to enter the working world doing something I truly enjoyed (writing and communicating) and held out the promise of leading to a career in which I could possibly excel.

How has a literary education contributed to success in your career and/or other aspects of your life?

I credit my English professors for not only teaching me the proper use of the English language, but also never to fail to express ideas and concepts in clear, concise, and creative ways.

What do you do for a living and what’s it like?

Michigan was my springboard to a satisfying career in the world of higher education: first at Bethany (W. Va.) College and then at the College Park Campus of the University of Maryland. At both institutions, over the course of some 15 years, I worked in all aspects of college and university relations, including public information, publications, fund-raising, and alumni events.

From higher education I moved on to serve the better part of a decade as vice president of an advertising agency in Laurel, Maryland, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Nowhere did my U-M liberal arts/English education serve me better than here. It was the solid foundation of my efforts on behalf of my clients, from creating effective marketing/ad campaigns to researching and writing annual reports, to marrying bold, persuasive ad copy with the eye-catching work of graphic designers.

Today I serve as president of Aldrich, Inc., in Avon, Ohio. In addition, I look to do as much as I can to give back to Michigan through my emeritus role on the English Advisory Board, the LSA Dean's Advisory Council, and my scholarship endowment for a deserving student of need from Northeast Ohio.