Wide World Indeed

Editor's Page

A work group of IUP’s University Planning Council recently discussed what makes the university “unique.” The consensus was that the preeminent distinguishing characteristic of IUP is opportunity.

Robin Litton

Robin Litton covered the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

A student who comes here has access to all manner of exciting ideas and experiences as well as to engaged faculty members. Effort is necessary on the part of the student, but a chance to change one’s life is there for the getting.

Robin Litton got it. He came from Greene County, Pennsylvania, to Indiana State Teachers College in 1956. He left four years later with a degree in Music Education. After stints in public education in New York and New Jersey, he turned to television production.

For a good quarter-century, Litton rubbed elbows with the great and near-great on behalf of ABC News and PBS. He had ringside seats at political conventions, inaugurations, Space Shuttle launches, and royal weddings. Before that, in the seventies, he worked on such ABC shows as Wide World of Sports, The Dick Cavett Show, All My Children, One Life to Live, and Dark Shadows.

Litton traveled widely, enjoyed music, collected art, and made friends everywhere. He had a gap between his front teeth that somehow suggested the presence of a mischievous, somewhat wicked kid beneath a polished, professional exterior. He was absolutely charming and mostly mirthful, and when he showed up, it was as though the sun had suddenly come out.

He attributed much of his success in life to IUP, which he said had shown him possibilities of which he’d never dreamed. He came back to campus often and in 1982 received a Distinguished Alumni Award. He wrote several times for IUP Magazine and, just before his death on November 20, 2002, completed the donation to the University Museum of the Litton-Leon art collection, amassed by him and his late partner in Woodstock, N.Y., over a thirty-year period.

Although he’d traveled the world and lived for long periods abroad, to Litton one of the most beautiful sights of all was the Pittsburgh cityscape as the viewer emerged from the Fort Pitt tunnel. In a way, it was a metaphor for the way he himself saw life: out of the darkness, light.