Remembering Earl...


Dr. Earl Reum

"He changed the world, one kid at a time. In countless speeches and workshops over more than 50 years, Earl Reum persuaded millions of teenagers to dream big; some for an hour, many for a lifetime."

Time Magazine
December 20, 2010


A tribute to the "Master Wizard" of student leadership training!


Genel Hodges sent us this tribute to Earl Reum remembering how they worked closely together in the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD), an organization founded by Earl himself in 1973.

I treasure the days we spent together,and especially the evenings before the conference when Earl and his wife Mary, my husband John and I, sometimes Peter Cahn, would go to dinner and just visit.  No planning.  No discussions of student activities.  No need for Earl to be "ON", except when he briefly entertained the servers in the restaurant.  During those moments, we would talk about our lives, families, and fun times.  

I remember the funny times.  I was talking to Mary just this morning and we were laughing about the conference where John Namey won a chair as a door prize.  John arranged for someone to take it back to Ohio for him, and we met them in the hallway at the Grove Park Inn, in Asheville, North Carolina, just as hotel security was stopping them when they were taking the chair to the van.  Security was sure they were stealing hotel furniture.   We talked about gathering stories for a book that would be titled "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time", and Earl and my husband always shared stories they would include in that book.

Earl always kept me laughing, but he also was so dedicated to student leadership training.  He was so generous to all of us as he shared information, usually at his own expense.   There was no other person like him and he can never be replaced.  My promise to Earl is that the organization he began will go on, and we will continue to train the trainers...the advisers who work directly with students.  Those advisers are Earl's legacy.  Those who met him can never forget him, and he lives on in them.   I miss him every day.