CST alumni surprise Lou Slyker with retirement reunion

Highlighter & Laureate,
Summer 2003

Paul Murray has developed a website of photos from Slyker’s reunion. The pictures can be viewed at http://www.wordpictures.com/lou/

 

 

 

To Communication Studies students current and past, Lou Slyker, associate professor of Communication Studies, is something of a legend. Who can forget his radio commercials for the Venice Cafe, or his fictitious radio station WVVG (W very, very good) or WNSG (W not so good), depending on student performance?

He taught students the finer techniques of radio and television production, visual communication and photography for 30 years in the Smith Media Center on Puritan Avenue (Last year, the Communication Studies department moved to the Briggs building on the McNichols Campus). Many of his students went on to successful careers in various electronic media, broadcast and production fields.

When some of his former students learned that he was retiring at the end of the winter 2003 term, they decided to surprise him at his final class with a retirement reunion.

“It all started during a homecoming game when I mentioned to a few friends that Lou was retiring,” says Craig Handley (’76), owner of Word Pictures, Inc. “He has taught, influenced and encouraged so many people over the last 30 years that we wanted to let him know how much he means to many of us who are active in the media community. We all feel that we owe Lou a great deal.”

Handley and former classmate Liz Poisson (’80), came up with the idea to attend his last class, a Visual Communications course, and, says Handley, “listen to a Lou Slyker lecture one more time.”

Twelve CST alumni stopped by for the final lecture. They included: Greg Russell (’78), Jim Moceri (’80), Tom Poisson (’76), Bill Hicks (’81), Dan Zebarah (’80), Dave Murray (’72), Roger (Heino) Ryan (’85), Dennis Laycock (’88), Chris Allen (’74), Kevin Byrnes (’83), Paul Murray (’85) and Gary Pillon (’69).

After class, the group took Slyker, his wife, Joan, and son, Andy, to Pasquale’s in Royal Oak. They were joined by Joe Aldini (’78) and former University of Detroit television engineers Herman Carducci and Jim Lecours.

“It was an absolutely perfect night,” says Handley. “Lou was beaming the whole evening.”

Slyker was later heard saying, “This was just like the movie ‘Mr. Holland’s Opus’ without the bad music.” Classic Lou Slyker.

Paul Murray has developed a website of photos from Slyker’s reunion. The pictures can be viewed at http://www.wordpictures.com/lou/