The University mourns the loss of Jane Maas ’53, alumna and former trustee. Maas is best known for her professional endeavors in the male-dominated advertising industry, and as the creator of the famous 1970s “I Love New York” campaign. University President John Bravman shared the news with faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees, and students this past week. “I had the privilege of knowing Jane and am deeply saddened by her loss. I am grateful for her decades-long connection to the University and for all that she has meant to Bucknell,” Bravman said.
The “I Love New York” campaign was used to resuscitate the city financially by increasing tourism and dispelling impressions of crime and decay which previously plagued New York City. As a senior vice president at Wells Rich Greene at the time, Maas served as the creator of what the New York Times called one of “the most successful tourism campaigns ever.”
Maas is also praised as being one of the first women to break the glass ceiling in the advertising industry, which she describes in detail in her memoirs, “Adventures of an Advertising Woman” and “Mad Women,” the title being a play on the award-winning television series “Mad Men” that depicts the tough-grit and ruthless nature of advertising agencies in New York. Maas is considered the first female to lead a major pre-existing New York advertising agency when she worked as the president of Muller Jordan Weiss. Advertising Age included Maas in the “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Advertising.” The New York Times described Maas as “an ardent but skeptical feminist.”
During her time at the University, Maas majored in English, was an involved member of Cap and Dagger and the theatre program, an editor of L’Agenda, a Phi Beta Kappa member, a recipient of the William Bucknell Prize for Women in English Literature, and she shared the Oliver J. Decker Prize for highest class GPA. After graduation, Maas attended the University of Dijon in France as a Fulbright Scholar. She later completed her masters in English literature at Cornell University before making headway in the New York advertising industry.
Bravman wrote that Maas “remained loyal to Bucknell through the years” as a member of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Steering Committee for the Association for the Arts, a member of the Campaign for the 80’s Planning Committee and recipient of the Alumni Association Award for achievement in a chosen profession.
“All of us can learn from her life. Small of stature — she was well below five feet tall — but possessing a capacious mind and warm soul filled with creativity, wit, and generosity, Jane towered over most, especially given her chosen, completely male-dominated, profession,” Bravman said.
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