SEE THE DIFFERENCE
As president and general manager of Detroit radio station WJR in the 1950s and 60s, Worth Kramer was known for his uncompromising standards for broadcasting excellence and ethics. As he stated in a speech delivered in 1958 to the National Association of Broadcasters, “…the good broadcaster will grow and prosper in direct proportion to the importance he achieves in his community. … This formula cannot be improved upon— it has withstood, and will continue to withstand, the test of time.”
EMU students are benefiting from Kramer’s legacy, as his widow, Mary Trevorrow Kramer, established the Worth H. Kramer Memorial Endowed Scholarship with a generous $75,000 estate gift. The scholarship will assist Communications, Media and Theatre Arts students pursuing a career in radio broadcasting.
“While completing her estate planning, Mary expressed an interest in endowing scholarships to support broadcasting students,” says Tom Hammerschmidt (BA75), an EMU alum and attorney who represented the Kramers. “I suggested that she consider one for Eastern Michigan University, knowing of its broadcasting programs. She thought it would be a nice way of continuing Worth’s broadcasting legacy.”
Kramer’s dynamic radio career spanned many years. In 1930, he joined WTAM in Cleveland as a singer. After stints at several other small stations, he became WJR’s program director in 1946 and worked up to an executive level in the 1950s. After leaving WJR in 1970, the Kramers relocated to Sarasota, Fla., where Worth continued working for station WSPB. He died in 1998 at age 89. Mary died in 2010 at age 92.
“Worth was extremely supportive of his profession and delivered many speeches about the future of radio,” Hammerschmidt says. “He would have been proud to know that this scholarship is helping students pursuing broadcasting careers.”
--by Jeff Samoray
This story originally appeared in the 2012 Eastern Michigan University Foundation Annual Report.