Jesuit priest recalls invitation to appear in an Apple ad

(CNS photo/Reuters)

It’s been nearly a week since Steve Jobs died and in that time the tributes for the founder of Apple have come from every quarter, even from an influential journal in Vatican City.

Now add to that a remembrance from Jesuit Father Don Doll, longtime photojournalism professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., about how he came to be in an Apple ad campaign.

The ad in which the priest appeared is included in an article in the business section of the Huffington Post that highlights some of Apple’s best ads in the last 35 years. Readers who scroll down half way in that article will see the ad featuring Father Doll and the musician, singer-songwriter and record producer Todd Rundgren.

In an email titled “A bit of Creighton in Apple history” and sent to Catholic News Service late last week by Creighton’s communications department, Father Doll told the story: “Here’s how I was invited to be in the Apple campaign ‘What’s on your PowerBook?’ Creighton graduate, Christian Wolfe, who had excelled in my publication design course, was an Los Angeles BBDO account executive with the Apple account who called asking if I had a black clerical suit, and if I would consider being in an Apple ad campaign.  I called my Jesuit superiors in Milwaukee to see if there were any issues with my appearance in an ad. They didn’t have any.

“Apple flew me out first class, put me in in a San Francisco boutique hotel.  We went out to the little, formerly Catholic church now a nondenominational wedding chapel, in Tiburon, across the bay from San Francisco, where I met Todd Rundgren (whom I had never heard of before!), and Michael O’Brien, the photographer, whom I did meet years earlier as an award winning National Press Photographer.

“Michael O’Brien exposed 76 rolls of 120 film over 2-3 hours. The ad was run in black and white and color in numerous national magazines. I received numerous calls from former students who saw the ad.”

And, Father Doll, an award-winning photographer himself, noted that he was “pleased with the ad as it showed a priest in a good light.”

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