College of Communication and Fine Arts
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Dean Ranta To Receive Distinguished Achievement Award

For more than 35 years, Dean Richard R. Ranta has tirelessly worked to advance the arts and communication offerings at the University of Memphis. This fall his efforts will be recognized when he receives the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts, given by the College of Communication and Fine Arts Advisory Board, Thursday, Oct. 17 at 11:30 a.m. in the University Center River Room at the U of M.

The cost to attend is $50 per person and $500 for a table of 10. The deadline for RSVPs is Oct. 14.

Otis Sanford, Hardin Chair of Excellence in Journalism and former managing editor of The Commercial Appeal, will be master of ceremony. Sanford writes a weekly column in the Viewpoint section of The CA and is political commentator for WREG-TV Channel 3.

Born in Minnesota, Ranta received his bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Minnesota in Duluth, his M.A. from Cornell University and his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Iowa. He joined the faculty of the U of M in 1972 and held a variety of administrative positions before becoming the dean of CCFA in 1977. 

CCFA started with the departments of Art, Journalism, Music and Speech and Drama. It now contains six academic units—Architecture, Art, Communication, Journalism, Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and Theatre & Dance, as well as the Art Museum, WUMR-FM, IEAA (a true center of excellence) and the Center for Multimedia Arts.

Today, the college boasts nationally and internationally recognized award-winning faculty, including two chairs of excellence, and programs that continually produce skilled and experienced students who go on to amazing careers.

Off-campus, Ranta had many accomplishments as a director, producer and member of various organizations. He has been trustee, vice president and education chair for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif.

He continues to be part of the production team of the Recording Academy’s production of the Grammy Awards on CBS, an integral role he’s held for more than 30 years. Listed in Who’s Who in America, Ranta can also be seen weekly on WREG-TV’s Knowledge Bowl. In 2005, he received the Tennessee Governor’s Award. 

The Distinguished Achievement Award was established in 1979 by the College in memory of Elvis Presley. With a long and stellar list of honorees, it is given to artists associated with Memphis and the Mid-South in recognition of their outstanding career achievements. For ticket information, call the CCFA office at 901.678.2350.

Dean Richard Ranta breaks ground on CFA building

Dean Richard R. Ranta breaks ground on CFA Building.


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Last Updated: 10/4/13