College of Charleston Boundless Profile

Profile from the College of Charleston Boundless Campaign

Executive In Residence: Tom Martin

Tom Martin is the first executive in residence for the Communication Department at the College of Charleston and has been serving in the position since 2007. He first became involved with CofC when he joined the Communication Department’s Advisory Council in 2004. Prior to coming to CofC, Tom had the career of a lifetime, and what he learned throughout his life he brings to the classroom each day.

Tom graduated from Vanderbilt with a B.A. in English in 1975, and his first job was as a busboy. However, on the side, he was writing scripts and magazine articles as a freelancer. He joined FedEx at the age of 25 in 1978, by 1981 he was writing speeches for FedEx founder Fred Smith, and by 1995, he was appointed Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at FedEx.   In 1996, he moved on to join ITT as Head of Corporate Relations and in 1999 he was elected as Senior VP of ITT and named to the Executive Council before retiring in 2007 when he began teaching.

It never occurred to Tom that he would be a teacher until he began guest lecturing at CofC and at that time he felt a call to come teach.  When teaching, Professor Martin keeps a few important goals in mind. One of his top priorities is to help students improve their writing, because he believes it is so essential in whatever one may do.  He is also focused on making students more “street smart,” having students understand the strategy behind many decisions they see and will make in the real world. He emphasizes the importance of credibility, being ethically defensible, and being appropriate in the work world.

Professor Martin tries to encourage students not only to focus on their career goals and achievements, but also to focus on the giving back aspect of their lives at all ages.

When it comes to CofC’s community, Tom loves how the college is interwoven into the Charleston community, both physically and intellectually.

Tom’s corporate experience fosters a unique and beneficial classroom environment and experience for students. He appreciates his students and loves teaching. What he has accomplished so far is monumental, yet he is very modest. He values hard work and equality, and he hopes to learn just as much from his students as they learn from him. His students leave the classroom with knowledge of strategic communications, the importance of strong writing skills, and most importantly, an understanding and confidence to enter the corporate world and how to go about doing so. He is boundless.


Author: Caroline Hubbell ’15


Speak Your Mind