Ad man gives back to OUS

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

After a lifetime of utilizing words and images, Ashland, Ky., advertising guru David E. Carter has finally put the punctuation mark on his career. If the new OUS expansion that bears his name is any indication Š it's an exclamation point.

The Kentucky native has a bevy of credits to his name, primarily the fact that he has produced more books on logo design and corporate identity than anyone in the world, the hundredth of which was published late in 2003.

He has also produced work seen on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and is the recipient of seven Emmy awards, as well as winning a Clio, which is regarded as the Oscar of advertising.

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With all his hats, Carter can now add another to the stack: benefactor of Ohio University, where he received his master's degree from the main campus' School of Journalism.

The David E. Carter Creativity Center was unveiled on the third floor of Ohio University Southern on Thursday. The center, funded by a $60,000 pledge from Carter to the school, features several new computers for OUS electronic media students to work with, including five super-charged Macintosh

G5 computers.

The other half of the center, a museum that features a re-creation of Carter's office, will inspire students with memorabilia from his career.

&#8220I'm exhilarated,” Carter said. &#8220This is the punctuation mark, like the final episode of my sitcom. Doesn't mean I'm not going to be appearing somewhere. But this is the final episode, and what a cool one it is. I have lots of stuff to do, with nobody telling me a deadline, I'm still going to be doing three books a year.”

That's right, the prolific Carter is making his way to a life on the sunny beaches of Florida. He'll be leaving behind not only his long-time Kentucky business, but a legacy for generations of creative students to come.

&#8220I hope they discover that they can look inside and find a lot more than they think they have. That's the whole thing about my career,” Carter said. &#8220I loafed my way through high school. I went to college and was doing OK, but I saw students who I thought weren't as smart as I was making the same grades I was. I realized that I wasn't working very hard, and I had a lot more within me.”

&#8220A few people found those things in me and helped me bring them out. That's when I set upon becoming the person that I wanted to be. That's what I want to do.”

Carter has also gifted the university with a 1950s soda shop/diner replica. The set-up was formerly in Carter's Ashland, Ky., office, where he would frequently treat guests to hot dogs. It has been transported to room 157 in the Riffe Center.

Although the diner and museum collection include a wealth of classic memorabilia (including items signed by Mickey Mantle and Johnny Carson), Carter said he has no regrets about entrusting it to Ohio University Southern.

&#8220The good stuff's here,” Carter said. &#8220That's the whole purpose.”