Northwestern memorializes professor influential in IMC program

Medill Prof. Ted Spiegel died May 11 at the age of 82. Family, friends and former colleagues remembered him at a memorial service Thursday morning.

Source: Medill

Medill Prof. Ted Spiegel died May 11 at the age of 82. Family, friends and former colleagues remembered him at a memorial service Thursday morning.

Amy Whyte, Reporter

Friends, family and former colleagues of Medill Prof. Ted Spiegel remembered his contributions to marketing and education at a memorial service Thursday.

Spiegel helped establish the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications’ direct marketing program. He died May 11 at the age of 82.

He joined Northwestern in 1987 after a 30-year career in marketing and never left. Even after taking on emeritus status, he developed and launched the Spiegel Digital & Database Research Initiative, a program which he only grudgingly allowed to be named after him, former colleague Tom Collinger told a crowd of about 200 at Alice Millar Chapel.

“I’m very proud of one of the only debates I won with him, putting his name on that initiative,” Collinger said. “I so hope he died proud of what he birthed, not just in this initiative but in his inspiration to others.”

Collinger, who described Spiegel as always looking forward, also remembered Spiegel’s passion for education.

“Ted knew what was next was a revolution in education, and that we had to be at the front of it,” he said.

Maureen O’Hara, who had been a friend of Spiegel’s daughter, said he encouraged her own love of education. She described Spiegel as a mentor and father figure who urged her to follow her dreams, helping her apply to school to become a teacher.

“As I experienced adversity in my personal life … Ted was always there to provide support, guidance and understanding,” O’Hara said.

Spiegel’s nephews Ted Linhart and Peter Hirshberg each spoke at the service, recalling the mentorship and encouragement they had received from their uncle while growing up. Linhart credited Spiegel for teaching him everything he knew, from running a business to being a good husband.

“Ted is someone who really disproportionately influenced so many of our lives,” Hirshberg said. “He had such standards and expectations that he always wanted you to do your best and you never wanted to let him down — and, in fact, it wasn’t an option.”

Hirshberg described how his uncle modernized the family mail-order business, revamping the Spiegel brand with new marketing tactics. When Spiegel took his marketing skills to Medill, where he helped create what is now the Integrated Marketing Communications program, Hirshberg said it was “the right program at the right time.” He said the Medill program prepared students to run companies in the Internet age.

Spiegel’s sister, Barbara Linhart, described her brother as a passionate educator, business leader and patriarch.

“Ted was a good influence on every community that he touched,” Linhart said. “You don’t realize how good judgment can be until you see it up close … We will all miss Ted very much.”