George H. Holmes

TO: All Faculty & Staff Members
DATE: October 16, 1981

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 17, 1981, for George H. Holmes, 80, 1210 W. 20th St., who was director of University Relations at UNI for 42 years, before his retirement in 1971. He died late Wednesday morning (October 14) at the Windsor Care Center, Cedar Falls.

The memorial service will be conducted at the Dahl-Van Hove-Schoof Funeral Home by Dr. William C. Lang, emeritus professor of history and former vice president of academic affairs at UNI. There will be no visitation at the funeral home. The body has been cremated.

George Holmes worked under four UNI presidents--O. R. Latham, Malcolm Price, J. W. Maucker and John Kamerick--and former president Homer Seerley was a frequent visitor in Holmes' office during George's first few years on campus. At the time of his retirement in 1971, Holmes quipped, I've worn out three presidents and am working on my fourth,--but I don't think I'll make it!"

Holmes came to UNI, then Iowa State Teachers College, in 1929 and was the school's first journalism teacher, as well as its first director of publicity, of publications and of public relations, the latter tasks evolving through his years of service. His first duties included teaching five hour courses in both journalism and English composition, organizing-and operating a news service, and advising the College Eye (now Northern Iowan) and Old Gold (yearbook) publications.

He founded, and was a member of for many years, the Information Committee of the State Board of Regents. From 1950--1965, he directed an annual school public relations workshop on campus, sponsored jointly by UNI and the Iowa State Education Association.

He was involved in a number of organizations, at the regional and national level, dealing with publicity and public relations for colleges and universities and produced a movie in 1946 on A Day in the Life of a Teacher which was shown nationally. He was an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, Phi Delta Kappa, Alpha Phi Gamma (journalism honorary), Association for Education in Journalism and the American College Public Relations Association (now CASE-Counci1 for Advancement and Support of Education). He was a former director of the Mid-Amerlca District of ACPRA, and received its Hall of Fame award, in 1966, for his contributions to the interpretation of higher education in America.

Prior to coming to UNI, Holmes directed the Journalism Laboratory at the University of Michigan, was director of publicity and journalism instructor at the University of South Dakota, and was a reporter for the Cleveland (Ohio) Plain Dealer.

Holmes was born October 14, 1901, at Canisteo, N.Y., the son of George H. and Alice Mason Holmes. He earned a bachelor's degree cum laude and a master's degree from the University of Michigan in 1925 and 1926, respectively. He married Grace M. Jewell in 1927. She died in 1941. He married Jane Robbins August 24, 1946. He is survived by his wife, Jane; four children, Dr. George H., Jr., of Des Moines; Richard G., Waterloo; Robert H., Central City; and Melanie J., Seattle, Washington; seven grandchildren, his step-mother, two half-sisters and two half-brothers. The family suggests memorials be made to the UNI Foundation, 137 Latham Hall.


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu