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In Memoriam: JEM Professor Emeritus Frank Thornburg

ThornburgJEM Professor Emeritus Frank Thornburg passed away April 30, 2018 at the Bay Pines VA Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. He served in the US Army Air Corps during WWII. After the war, he received a BS degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1948, one of a handful of students in the first class to graduate from the university’s new School of Journalism. He later earned a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida.

Thornburg served as a faculty member for the thirty years (1955-1985) and taught a wide variety of advertising and journalism classes. He also oversaw the transition of the student newspaper from a weekly to a daily publication and helped obtain full accreditation for advertising classes from the Association for Education in Journalism. Dean Wirth said, “Frank Thornburg touched the lives of many students, faculty and staff during his storied career, and he will be greatly missed!”

A number of CCI BOV members and Emeritus BOV members shared fond memories of Thornburg.

Ed Ingle said, “I took a photography class from him, which helped cement my love and knowledge of photography.”

Jerry Ehrlich shared, “I have fond memories of him in the classroom and when I was business manager of the Daily Beacon.”

Henry Evans said, “he was a personal friend and a valued member of the faculty during my tenure at UT.  He served as our faculty advisor for the Orange & White and was invaluable during my year as editor.  His classes were interesting, high on creative challenges, and his personality was infectious.” 

Deb Wooley reminisced, “I remember classes with Frank Thornburg and his help in many ways!  Most of all, however, I remember having to memorize the California Job Case and putting a hot type page together by hand.  Even back in those olden days, all of us complained about having to do it.  Fast forward a couple years to my first reporting and editing job, and I learned quickly that being able to function and proofread in the composing room not only bought me extra deadline time, it earned me a lot of respect.  Thank you, Frank.”  

Frank Thornburg’s full obituary can be found at