Vladimir Jones is honoring the Colorado-based agency’s two founders by establishing a full-tuition scholarship to the Denver Ad School (DAD).
This scholarship is designed to provide an opportunity for a person from any background to enter the advertising industry and thrive.
The project was spearheaded by Meredith Vaughan, daughter of Jim and Nechie Hall, who founded the agency on April Fool’s Day 1970. Vaughan has served as CEO since 2014.
“We want people to know there’s a path to their future, regardless of their past,” she says. “We don’t want debt, fear of not fitting in, or lack of industry experience to hold anyone back.”
She says her parents set forth the agency’s tradition of welcoming “the most highly qualified, most interesting thinkers, regardless of gender, race, background or industry-specific experience. And the agency had a gender-neutral pay policy from day one.”
DAD is well suited to help inject more diversity into this industry, she says. The advertising portfolio school with a rolling admission is a particularly good fit for non-traditional students, such as career changers or mid-career ad professionals, thanks to its length and affordability. The complete program runs 14 months for $16,000, and all teachers are active in the industry.
“Given broader economic conditions, a true shakeup in the advertising world, and a new awakening to the need for more diversity, equity and inclusion in our ranks, we’re expecting to hear from a wide range of candidates who are considering our program to help them make their next career move,” says Heather Vanisko, director of DAD.
Nechie Hall and Vaughan will collaborate with DAD leaders to help select the student who receives the scholarship this fall. Jim Hall died in 2012 at age 70.