Attaining a B.A. in Speech from Miami University in 1970, Rick Ludwin went on to complete a M.A. at Northwestern University. He soon began working in broadcasting for Chicago and Detroit TV stations, then moved on to writing for Bob Hope and Mike Douglas. In free-lance stints for NBC, Ludwin helped to produce Olympathon '79 and the daytime magazine America Alive! While working in Chicago television, he met and impressed Brandon Tartikoff, who soon after was appointed President of NBC Entertainment. Tartikoff offered Ludwin the position of director of variety shows at NBC in 1980. By 1983, Ludwin had been raised to vice president status: 1980 director of variety shows 1983 vice president for specials and variety programs 1989 senior vice president for specials, variety programs and late-night 2005 executive vice president for late-night and primetime series Looking back on his early years with the network Ludwin admits, "I thought I'd be here a year and be fired or would leave out of frustration, and here I am all these years later. It worked out pretty well." Ludwin is credited for the success of series such as The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, Unsolved Mysteries and Seinfeld. He has served as executive for numerous NBC hit programs since the '80s, and has made cameo appearances on Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and alongside Bob Hope. He has also supervised landmark prime time specials such as Motown 25, NBC's 60th and 75th Anniversary telecasts, numerous EMMY Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Saturday Night Live prime time specials. Being the "longest-tenured employee at NBC Entertainment," Ludwin "rises up in meetings to argue for what he believes...but rarely stands up to take a bow," according to Chicago Tribune writer Phil Rosenthal. "Without Ludwin, there would have been no Seinfeld. He commissioned the pilot, took money out of his specials budget to keep the show alive and oversaw the program for its entire run." Ludwin's reply, "I don't put that in the category of death-defying leaps. That's what we're supposed to be doing." In his college days at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, Ludwin hosted Studio 14, a variety-comedy show on Miami's WMUB-TV station. He and classmates wrote, produced, directed, and acted the entire live show. "I had this love for live television. There was nothing more exciting," says Ludwin. His connections to Miami University remain strong--visiting the campus regularly to talk with students in the Mass Communication Department. Through the Ludwin connection, Miami has been able to secure campus appearances by Bob Hope and Jay Leno.