Retirement News: Recognizing the Contributions of Franklin Oros

Posted by Sam Fox School July 1, 2020


Maturity and its Muse trailer, Franklin Oros, 2011.

The Sam Fox School would like to celebrate the contributions of associate professor Franklin Oros, who is retiring after 25 years with the University, and 25 years in the advertising and entertainment industries.

Within the College of Art and Graduate School of Art, Franklin headed up the advertising curriculum, and served as area coordinator for communication design (2005-2007) and coordinator for the communication design minor (2015-2018). He also led project development for the Collaborative Technology Center and the Visual Communications Research Studio. Additionally, he served as a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in the Olin Business School.

From 2008-2013, Franklin was a faculty co-leader for The Madagascar Project, an interdisciplinary collaboration with WashU faculty from Law, Engineering, and Business, as well as research staff from the Missouri Botanical Garden, to lead students in the development of economic, health and social initiatives for rural residents in Madagascar, for the purpose of decreasing pressure on natural resources, primarily rain forests. As part of this project, Franklin provided ongoing video documentation of economic development, rural conservation, and culture in the country.

As a Fellow for the University’s Center for Ethics & Human Values from 2003-2010, he co-led Program Development and Community Service, helping to provide open forums for discussion of ethical and moral questions, and served as support for faculty, students, and community members involved in projects dealing with essential human values.

Inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, Franklin has extensive experience as a creative director, broadcast and film producer, writer, musician, and educator in the fields of advertising, entertainment, and information. His recent work focuses on video and audio documentary that places emphasis on issues of social justice and social entrepreneurship. This includes Homemade Heroes, an audio series in development that focuses on individuals who support, encourage, and advocate for individuals and groups to realize their full potential. His film portfolio includes 10 Years to Home: A Progress Report on the 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness; The Madagascar Project; Maturity and its Muse, a tribute to productive aging through the arts; and A Show of Strength, a documentary that focuses on the activities of the Community CollabARTive, an organization that unites professional artists with residents of a transitional housing program for homeless men.

In addition to audio and video work, Franklin has worked with marketing and advertising firms, not-for-profit organizations, and corporations as a freelance creative director, communications consultant, writer, and broadcast producer.

"Frank has been an important presence in the Sam Fox School for 25 years, beginning as an adjunct in 1995, moving to the role of associate professor in 1999, and earning the rank of associate professor with tenure in 2005. His broad and deep connections in St. Louis’ professional advertising, entertainment, and information fields have made him an invaluable resource to his many students. Frank’s current practice is focused on the urgent current questions of social justice."—Carmon Colangelo, Ralph J. Nagel Dean Sam Fox School; E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts

“Frank Oros has had a significant impact on students in the communication design program. He's been our Mad Man—his leadership in the advertising area has been decisive. Many art directors and copywriters have entered the field through his teaching and mentorship. In recent years his advertising history courses have been extremely popular with students from the Olin Business School as well as those in the Sam Fox School. Frank has been a wonderful colleague, and has had a great career in our school. He will be missed by all.” —D.B. Dowd, professor and director of the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library