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Dale Addy

Dale Addy

Dale Addy discovered his passion later in life. He’d held a strong career in the graphic design and art industries, and found he had a deep pool of talent for the work. His resume includes some of the Nashville’s most acclaimed design firms such as Ericson Marketing Communications, DVL Public Relations & Advertising and now DNA Creative, his own advertising and graphic design firm that boasts clients such as Belmont University, Permobil and HealthStream.

But it was teaching that Dale says he always felt called to—a beckoning he never answered until O’More came calling.

Now, the award-winning advertising professional is one of the most well-known and beloved teachers on the College campus, and a mentor to many. He says that while his career work has been gratifying, it’s the relationships among O’More students that keep him inspired day in and day out.

“Once you are my student, you are always my student. I like to keep in touch with my them and bug them,” he laughs. “From the time they are sitting in my class until the time they get their first promotion, they can always call me for advice.”

Outside of his strong desire to watch his students develop as artists, what sets Dale’s teaching methods apart from the standard instructor’s is the level of hands-on, real-world experience he is able to offer to entry-level students in the Advertising and Introduction to Visual Communications courses.

Standards run high in his classes: Dale’s advertising students are required to come up with a creative concept and pitch it to an advertising agency in town—all the while using real cases that agencies have developed campaigns for in the past. Then the students, who are usually freshmen, go to the companies to present their ideas to working professionals and receive critical feedback.

“When dealing with advertising, I think there are a million ways to look at a problem-solution scenario.  It is so interesting to see what different creative minds come up with, and how unique everyone’s ideas can be,” he says.

Dale says his students have pitched to the likes of Nissan, Ruby Tuesday, MoonPie, The Buntin Group, and Sullivan Branding, just to name a few.

“It’s good experience because they get to do it in an environment that does not have as much pressure as a real job, so they can learn from the experience and also build their portfolios,” he says. “The two most important things I teach in my class are presentation skills and understanding strategy.”

“My goal is to give them real-world experience, so they can confidently go into their first job and say, ‘I have done this before.’”

Dale says his favorite part of the job is seeing his students succeed–he’s looking for that “light bulb moment,” when it finally clicks for them.

“I think a huge advantage to O’More is that all the professors are working professionals. We have industry connections and can recommend a student whom we think would be a great fit,” he says. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student that you taught at a basic entry level become a leader in his or her chosen field.

“I think I get more out of teaching than the students do. It is the most frightening, yet rewarding, thing I have ever done!”

To learn more about the School of Visual Design, go here.