Alum Jeffrey Durham Finds His Path at Mercer
"I went to Mercer on a leap of faith," he recalled. "I had an art portfolio in one hand and a tool box of art supplies in the other. The outstanding education I received fed my already overactive imagination and gave me a venue - it was a bit of a creative awakening, which led to further self-exploration."
Durham excelled at Mercer, receiving a Cybis scholarship, awarded to an outstanding advertising student. He continued his studies at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York City. Prior to graduating at age 20, he was named junior art director at D'Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, a major advertising firm in the city, where he worked on promotional campaigns for such brands as Crest Toothpaste, MCI Communication and Burger King. Four years later, he was appointed senior art director at the now defunct Maher Advertising in Hartford, Conn.
With the goal of launching his own advertising enterprise, Durham and business partner Dean Lang established Lang/Durham in 1990. Under their leadership, the firm has created highly successful promotions, most notably in the energy-related and financial services fields. Clients have included the Governor of Connecticut's OneThing energy, cost-savings, conservation campaign (www.onethingct.com) and a host of regional and national campaigns for The United Illuminating Company, PNC Bank, Liberty Bank, and Timex.
creative team has also parlayed its artistic energies and marketing strategies
toward making a difference in the human services arena, producing print,
radio and TV promos for Sickle Cell through the state of Connecticut's
Health and Human Service Department, and for Race for the Cure and the
American Heart Association fundraisers.
Lang/Durham has recently undergone changes, with Durham appointing team members Eric Cavoli as creative director and Bill Greer as director of strategic services. Purchasing the agency from his original partner, the firm will be renamed The Durham Group.
Despite his busy schedule, Durham teaches advertising and marketing classes as an lecturer at the University of Hartford, University of Connecticut and Tunxis Community College. Teaching at Tunxis is particularly rewarding, Durham says, who enjoys working with the school's Dean of Marketing Nancy Grassilli. The feeling is mutual.
"Jeff is a man of integrity; he is extraordinarily creative," said Grassilli. "He knows how to thoroughly engage students as the case recently with his firm's OneThing campaign. The students were mesmerized by his presentation from the initial pitch to implementation. Jeff also provides internships for students and has served as an exhibitor at our college's networking receptions." Durham also serves on the Business Program Advisory Committee and handles the college's advertising accounts.
Durham, community college provided the necessary turning point in his
life. "It's where things began to click for me," he said. "At
Mercer, I knew I had found my spot. The right chemistry was there."
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