Tribute: Lawrence Myers Jr.

Larry Myers with a camera at the Newhouse School
Larry Myers at the Newhouse School in 1968.

The Newhouse School mourns the loss of Lawrence Myers Jr., professor emeritus and former department chair and interim dean.

In his 45-year career at Syracuse University, Myers touched the lives of countless students and colleagues. He joined the University in 1946 as a graduate assistant in what was then the Television-Radio Department, now Television, Radio and Film (TRF). By 1963, he had been named chair of the department, and remained in the position until 1991. He also served as interim dean from 1989-1990. In addition, he was an early manager of WAER, which launched in 1947 as one of the first college radio stations in the country.

“Larry Myers laid the foundation for an outstanding program in radio and television. He established the Newhouse School as a pioneer in broadcast education. He sent at least two generations of Newhouse graduates into the field, from New York to Hollywood,” says Dean Emeritus David Rubin.

TRF department chair Michael Schoonmaker says Myers was “one of the most noted pioneers and caretakers of the program for more than half a century… Larry was a recognized leader in the field of educational radio and television, and trailblazed formal paths of study in these once emerging fields.”

Professor Emerita Sharon Hollenback says Myers, who was department chair when she joined the TRF faculty in 1976, was “a visionary grounded in reality.”

“Larry  was absolutely unrivaled in nurturing talented and successful participants over the years as they advanced—professionally—after their graduation from Newhouse. His continuing personal contacts with them highlighted his awareness of and appreciation for their contributions, whether in entertainment or news or sports, national networks or local stations, commercial or public radio and TV. For his entire life, he shared immense pride in our many broadcasting and cable leaders. He  was a significant influence on them and therefore on what was broadcast to us in the public.”  

Myers was a generous donor to the University, with gifts supporting numerous schools, colleges, programs and units. Last fall, the Newhouse community gathered to celebrate Myers’ 100th birthday. The event was attended by dozens of his former students and colleagues who were eager to pay tribute to him and his service to the school.