Raymond O. Mithun was perhaps the most forward -ooking of the small number of genuine advertising pioneers of his day. Although Mithun was only 23 when he founded Campbell-Mithun in 1933, his vision and professional leadership are a living legacy that approach the legendary.
Innovation was part of a personal philosophy, which Mithun labeled pioneering and that influenced all of his dealings. One of the first agency heads to emphasize personnel development, Mithun initiated the use of industrial psychologists to evaluate employees. As chairman of the personnel committee of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), he developed its long-term liaison program with colleges to stimulate interest in advertising among faculty and students.
Ray Mithun's generosity is evident in countless examples of his commitment to the growth and vitality of the Minneapolis and St. Paul communities. He served as president of the St. Barnabas Hospital board of trustees; chairman of the School Committee of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts; chairman of the Promotion Committee for the Minnesota Statehood Centennial; and as director of the Downtown Council of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Orchestral Association, the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, the United Fund of Hennepin County and the United Hospital Fund.
Industry positions include director of the National Outdoor Advertising Bureau and the AAAA, as well as chairman of the AAAA's Committee on Agency Personnel and the Advertising Federation of America's Harvard Seminar Committee. Mithun also served on the AFA national education committee and the Minnesota Advertising Commission on Business Development.
In 1962 Mithun established the first advertising scholarship at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In 1974, he set up an advertising scholarship for African American, Latino and Native American students at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota. In 1988 he funded a $500,000 chair in advertising for the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism.
Mithun's personal credo is among the reasons for the growth of both the agency he co-founded and the ad industry as a whole. "You're put here to do a job — the job's the boss," he said. "We're here to help other people be productive and to leave the world a better place than when we came in."