On Thursday, November 7th Pace University’s MS in Publishing program held its second Student Appreciation Dinner. In addition to honoring the students in the program, this event was also dedicated to Mr. David J. Pecker, a Pace University alum and the CEO of American Media, Inc. Mr. Pecker is a special member of the Pace community because of his knowledge of the publishing industry and his continued generosity towards Pace students and faculty. This semester ten new students were awarded the David Pecker Scholarship. The scholarship is given to those with high merit and/or need. It supports the need to educate students and to prepare them for a profession in publishing.
The event took place on the 18th floor at 158 Williams Street at the downtown Pace University campus. Maria Iacullo-Bird, the Assistant Dean of Grad Programs, and Susan Ford, the University Director of Graduate Admissions along with other Pace faculty and MS in Publishing Advisory Board members were in attendance. Dr. Uday Sukhatme, Provost and Executive VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Nira Hermann, Dean of Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and Professor Raskin, Director of the MS in Publishing program, welcomed the students, staff and faculty and our distinguished guests. Diana Cavallo, who is currently employed as a marketing assistant at AMI, told us about how much receiving the David Pecker Scholarship as well as her education at Pace University has impacted her life. Caitlyn Callegari, a first semester student in the program and a receipient of a David Pecker scholarship thanked Mr. Pecker for his generosity and the opportunities the program is providing her.
Mr. Michael Healy, Executive Director of International Relations at the Copyright Clearance Center, spoke to the group about his three years at Pace as the David J. Pecker Distinguished Professor. The Professorship enables Pace University to recruit and invite chief executive officers of major publishing companies as well as other industry leaders to teach and lecture in the program. Students are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from the best of the best in the industry. Mr. Arthur Levine, Scholastic Vice-President and Publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, as well as the editor for the Harry Potter series, was last year’s Distinguished David Pecker Professor. This year’s Distinguished Professor is, Cevin Bryerman, the Publisher of Publisher’s Weekly. He will be giving his first lecture on Wednesday, December 4th.
After a wonderful meal, Mr. Pecker gave an insightful presentation about the current and future states of the magazine publishing industry. It is true that print publishing has declined, but Mr. Pecker assured us that as brands, magazines will see a successful future. For example, Shape and Men’s Fitness magazines will be hosting a Super Bowl party for 2014. The party will host artists like John Legend and Mary J. Blige. Attendees must pay to get into the party, of course. A magazine becomes a brand when it does more than only being a magazine. Mr. Pecker also talked about a new women’s fitness clothing line from Shape as well as a health drink line. These products reach out to the market, seeding it with the Shape name.
At the end of the night, Professor Raskin presented Mr. Pecker with a Pace University plaque honoring Mr. Pecker for all of his contributions to the school. With stomachs full of pumpkin cheesecake and coffee, and our heads filled with new insights to the publishing industry, the Student Appreciation Dinner ended. It was a wonderful evening and we all appreciated the opportunity to gather with other students, faculty and industry professionals.
Written by: Andrea St. Aubin and Professor Jane Denning
Photo credit: Andrea St. Aubin