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Herbert honored at convocation


Lawrence Herbert spoke during the School of Communication Naming Ceremony in the Student Center Theater on Wednesday afternoon.

Just as the Pantone color system characterizes different shades, the School of Communication is now officially distinguished differently at Hofstra, thanks to the founder of the Pantone Matching System and Hofstra alumni — Lawrence Herbert.

The newly named Lawrence Herbert School of Communication honored its esteemed namesake this past Wednesday with a convocation at the Student Center Theater and a reception shortly after at the Hofstra University Club. Generations of students and alumni greeted the Board of Trustees as they took the stage, which was adorned with the flags of all of Hofstra’s Schools.

Provost Herman Berliner presided over the ceremony, which included a welcome to the School’s “next chapter” by Janis Meyer, chair of the board, a mission statement by Evan Cornog, dean of the School of Communication, a background of the life and work of “Larry” Herbert by his friend “Stu” Rabinowitz, president of the University and closing remarks by Dr. Herbert himself.

Jim Tamburino, assistant director of Intermural and Recreational Sports at Hofstra, who came to the event mainly because of his passion for screenwriting, said he was very impressed with the event.

“I honestly didn’t want it to end as soon as it did,” said Tamburino.

Lawrence Herbert graduated from Hofstra in 1951 with a B.A. in biology and chemistry, joining Pantone Inc. following his military service in Korea. Though he started out as a temporary color matcher at Pantone, within six years he had bought the company and began developing the revolutionary color matching system he is best known for.

“It’s amazing that he was able to do all that in such a short time,” said Timothy Lin, a junior studying Video/TV and Business. “It’s hard to think that’s possible.”

Hebert was described by Cornog as one of the “founding fathers” of the modern age of visual communication. According to President Rabinowitz, naming a building after someone is the highest honor a university can bestow.

“He seemed like a great guy, very inspiring to listen to,” said Amanda Donato, a junior rhetoric major.

Matt Sobnosky, a professor of public speaking, also liked the convocation.

“He spoke very eloquently. I enjoyed listening to what he had to say very much,” Sobnosky said.

Herbert’s humor and charm captivated the audience as he gave out pieces of wisdom regarding the importance of communication. Though flattered by the remarks of his colleagues, he remarked that the entire experience was humbling and joked that he had little more to add about himself after they had all gone on “ad nauseam” about him. He instead spent his time praising the School of Communication and expressing his desire to see it become the best in the country.

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