LTU to honor broadcaster, educator Specs Howard Aug. 27
A legendary Detroit radio voice will be honored with a dinner and tailgate party Aug. 27 at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.
Detroiters know Specs Howard for his longtime media institution, the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, which operated from 1970 to 2021, when it became part of Lawrence Tech.
Jerry Leibman was born April 8, 1926 in rural Kittanning, Pa. He graduated from Allegheny College and went into radio announcing in his home state. After getting a job with a bigger station in Cleveland, he adopted the name Specs Howard, for his trademark glasses. He was a Top 40 DJ in Cleveland from 1956 to 1962, then became part of “The Martin and Howard Show,” one of the earliest examples of the “morning zoo” drive-time radio format, a combination of music, news, celebrity interviews, and comedy bits.
In 1967, he was recruited to the Detroit market by WXYZ-AM, where he continued Martin and Howard. In 1970, he left the airwaves to establish the Specs Howard School, training generations of Detroit broadcast technicians, engineers, and radio and TV personalities in the finer points of the broadcast arts. Many of Detroit’s most prominent radio DJs, news reporters, and TV personalities have a Specs Howard certificate on their resume.
Now that his school is part of Lawrence Tech, the Specs Howard community plans to celebrate Howard and all he’s done for the Michigan communications industry with a private dinner and public tailgate party before LTU’s first home football game Saturday, Aug. 27. The tailgate party starts at 6 p.m. and the football game kicks off at 7. Pregame activities will feature a special media tribute to Howard, including stories from Specs Howard alumni. (Specs alumni are invited to submit a memory at https://ltu.wufoo.com/forms/q1szkapz11dv47v/.)
The first 100 Specs Howard alumni to register for the event will receive a commemorative coin with the Specs Howard classic radio button on one side and an LTU seal on the other, celebrating the university’s 90th birthday this year. To register, visit https://apply.ltu.edu/register/specsalumnievent.
Specs@LTU offers one-year certificates in Broadcast Media Arts, Digital Media Arts, and Graphic Design Arts. Students are encouraged, but not required, to continue their education at LTU toward two- and four-year degrees in Media Arts and Production, Audio Engineering Technology, Graphic Design, and Media Communication.
Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering, and Specs@LTU. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of “Best in the Midwest” colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include over 75 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.
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