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University of Missouri

Yearbook ’77

See if you recognize anyone on this page from the 1977 Savitar.

1977 Savitar photo

Recognize someone? Use our online comment feature to share your updates. Environmental photo from the 1977 Savitar. Portraits courtesy of subjects.

Gary Mitchiner always wanted to be like Bewitched advertising executive Darrin Stephens. So when he came to MU, he joined the Department of Student Information, the public relations arm of the Missouri Student Association.

Under the guidance of graduate student adviser Sharon Shoji, BS Ag ’73, BJ ’74, the department wrote press releases and designed brochures and posters for MSA programs and events. Mitchiner, BA ’78, listened to what clients wanted and worked with Connie Cain to make sure it happened. Cain, BJ ’77, the visual artist in the group, would sit at a drawing table with a piece of Strathmore board, pick an illustration from a book — sometimes sketching her own — set the type on a Compugraphic machine, and then mount the elements on the board, using hot wax as the adhesive. Kevin Moss, BA ’79, served as the liaison between the department and MSA.

“Sharon, Connie and Gary did all the work,” says Moss, adding that what he remembers most was that “ridiculous” design on the wall. “They were the workhorses.”

Housed in the top floor of Read Hall, the group often worked late, laboring over promotions for ZZ Top, Styx, Billy Joel and Elton John.

“Sharon created a really fun place to work,” Mitchiner recalls. “There was a lot of hard work but a lot of laughter, too.”

Shoji, now an associate professor in the fashion design department at the Illinois Institute of Art–Chicago and fashion design instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, says the job planted the desire in her to teach.

“There is nothing as rewarding as being able to change someone’s life through education,” Shoji says.

After years of working in ad agencies, Mitchiner started his own business development coaching company in Chicago. “When I went out to interview for jobs [after college], I had an extensive portfolio that other people didn’t have,” he says. “It launched my career.”

Moss says he brought all of the skills he learned in MSA, from working on teams to taking leadership positions, to his role as counsel at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in New York.

Cain couldn’t agree more. “That was a good beginning that I had in that office,” says Cain, who went on to run her own advertising agency before teaching English and journalism at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Ill., for 20 years. “I used everything I learned there.”