Our Founder - Dr. Earl Reum

He inspired generations of advisors and student leaders...and still does today through NA4SA!

"He changed the world, one kid at a time. In countless speeches and workshops over more than fifty years, Earl Reum persuaded millions of teenagers to dream big; some for an hour, many for a lifetime."
Time Magazine, December 20, 2010

A 17 year young Earl Reum was featured in an article of a special issue of Life Magazine, dedicated to the theme of "Teenage Fun", dated December 20, 1948. Little did anyone have an idea back then what kind of impact that Dr. Earl Reum would have on future generations of teenagers and those adults who worked with them for over half a century. Or just maybe they did.

CLICK HERE or on the image at right to view this special article, as well as the rest of this issue of Life Magazine, on the Google Books website.

As a teenager, Earl was already working part-time at a downtown magic shop in his native Denver, Colorado and dreaming of greater things. After graduating from college, he taught speech at two middle schools in the Denver area and for decades he heard from former students who thanked him for helping them gain confidence in themselves. He soon became involved in promoting Student Councils and the values of leadership, earning a doctorate in education and eventually becoming coordinator of Student Activites in Denver and Jefferson County, Colorado. His dedication to magic never waned; he used it as an effective tool to connect with people and at the time of his death in 2010 Earl had the largest collection of antiquarian magic books in the state of Colorado - more than three thousand volumes.

Earl's influence extended well beyond the Mile High City, traveling throughout the country as a motivational speaker who effectively combined magic, humor and inspiration. An impulsive (and compulsive) performer, it was difficult to escape an encounter with Earl without being asked to check out his belly button (a giant button that said BELLY behind his lapel), a "hot" book (which burst into flames), some big money (oversized dollar bills), the frog in his throat (yes, it croaked) or one of many other gimmicks that would instantly get your attention. However, there was much more than gimmicks - the substance of Dr. Earl Reum always kept the attention of those he met and inspired over nearly five decades as an author, speaker, leadership consultant and student leadership icon.

A significant part of that substance is our organization, which Earl founded as the National Association of Workshop Directors in 1973, and its National Conference on Student Activities. To this day the legacy of Dr. Earl Reum permeates what we do, how we do it, and who we serve. Thanks to the work and passion of Dr. Earl Reum there are several generations who identify themselves as "Reum Kids" (you'll see this phrase on tee shirts from time to time), including many current Student Activity advisors developing what will become the NEXT generation of "Reum Kids". While it has been a decade since Earl passed away, we remain dedicated to continuing the work and passion of our founder Dr. Earl Reum so that generations of activity advisors and student leaders to come will be inspired the same way that we were by Earl himself.

To give you an idea about the true essence of Dr. Earl Reum, we invite you to view the following videos:

Perfect 10 - Earl Reum: Speaker, Educator, Mentor

This video, produced by Lifetouch, is a brief but informative look into the amazing life of activities trail blazer Earl Reum. It was first shown at the 2010 CADA Conference in Reno, Nevada prior to him taking the stage for the keynote address.

Carnac The Magnificent

Earl, inspired by Johnny Carson's classic character "Carnac The Magnificent", enthralls Kansas Student Council advisors by discerning simple answers to complex questions.

Littleton High School - 1997 Commencement

This video was recorded on May 30, 1997 in Littleton, Colorado. It shows Earl at his finest, as he shares wisdom and advice with the Littleton High School Class of 1997 as well as the entire school community.

Reumors - Wisdom from Earl

Various tidbits of wisdom from Dr. Earl Reum, recorded and shown at the 2007 NASC National Conference at Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kansas.

The Dance of Activities Directors

Dr. Earl Reum pays tribute to activities directors, recorded on March 4, 2010 at the CADA Convention.

The Impossible Dream

Dr. Earl Reum relates this classic to leadership and student activities, recorded on March 4, 2010 at the CADA Convention.

Memories of Dr. Earl Reum

This video was recorded on December 10, 2010 following the memorial service for Earl in Denver. It includes video highlights of Earl at his best, along with memories of Earl shared by those who attended.

Wisdom & Remembrance

Click on any of the links below to view remembrances and wisdom either directly from, or inspired by, the one and only Dr. Earl Reum:

Our Friends & Sponsors

Please CLICK on the images below to visit their websites!

National Association of Secondary School Principals


Alliance for Student Activities

Cool Speak

Dynamx Digital

Mike Hall Speaks




Five Star Students


The Fisher Agency