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Phone: 901/678-2843
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Dean Richard Ranta Will Receive CCFA’s Distinguished Achievement Award

For release: October 3, 2013
For press information, contact Kimberly L. Rogers, 901/678-4164

The Advisory Board of the University of Memphis College of Communication and Fine Arts will host the 2013 Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts honoring Dr. Richard R. Ranta, the college’s founding dean. The event will be Thursday, Oct. 17, at 11:30 a.m. in the University Center River Room.

The cost to attend is $50 per person and $500 for a table of 10. Reserve online at 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 ceremonies.

Born in Minnesota, Ranta received his bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Minnesota in Duluth, his MA from Cornell University and his PhD 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.

For more than 35 years, Ranta has tirelessly worked to advance the arts and communication offerings at the U of M, as well as increase local and national reciprocal relationships to the University.

Dr. Richard R. Ranta pictured with Jerry Lee Lewis (left), and pictured
with Craig Brewer (right).

Starting with the departments of Art, Journalism, Music and Speech and Drama, CCFA 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, the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology (a Tennessee Center of Excellence) and the Center for Multimedia Arts.

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 successful 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 on the production team for the Recording Academy’s 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 in the Creative and Performing Arts 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 more information, call the CCFA office at 678-2350.

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