Frank Stanton H’62, who received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the College on June 16, 1962, died on December 24, 2006, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Born on March 20, 1908, in Muskegon, MI, he graduated in 1930 from Ohio Wesleyan College and. in 1935. received his doctor of philosophy degree in psychology from Ohio State University. While still a graduate student. he invented a device that could be installed in a radio receiver to record the programs that listeners tuned in to hear. He was hired by CBS in 1935 and, by 1938, was research director, with a staff of 100. He became president of CBS beginning in 1946 and oversaw varied enterprises in the early years of television as well as 30 years of evolving news coverage from the McCarthy era through the Vietnam conflict. He retired from CBS in 1973, was chairman and chief operating officer of the American Red Cross for six years, served on the boards of Harvard University, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution, the Stanford Research Institute, the Lincoln Center, and CBS. The citation for his honorary degree from Bowdoin in 1962, one of more than 20 that he received in his career, reads as follows: “Frank Stanton, dynamic businessman and articulate leader in communications, your successful corporate career has been built upon the foundation stones of rigorous academic training. As a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, as a former Chairman of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and as an author, you have maintained your interest in your own scientific discipline. Following the empirical approach of an earlier scientist and communicator, Benjamin Franklin, you have braved spirited criticism by statement of your faith in that hopeful experiment that is democracy. Passionate believer in the preservation of freedom of petition, of speech, of press, and of radio and television, you have fought the incursion of governmental control, which could spell its demise. Far from complacently accepting the inadequacies of the present, you provoke and initiate the advances necessary to a better future in all things you touch.” He married Ruth Stephenson in 1931; she died in 1992.