Memorial Gathering for Dr. Howard Dorgan to be Held August 25
Appalachian State University’s Department of Communication is hosting a Memorial Gathering for Dr. Howard Dorgan on Saturday, August 25, at 2 pm, in the Calloway Peak Room of the Plemmons Student Union.
Dr. C. Howard Dorgan passed away on his 80th birthday, July 5, in his home in Boone, North Carolina. Dr. Dorgan, born in Ruston, Louisiana, received a BA degree in speech and theatre from the University of Texas-El Paso, a MFA in theatre from the University of Texas-Austin, and a Ph. D. in speech communication from Louisiana State University. He joined the Appalachian State University faculty in 1971 and remained a part of the Department of Communication until his 2000 retirement.
Dorgan held several professional offices during his ASU years; president, Appalachian Studies Association; executive director and then president, Southern States Communication Association; president, Carolinas Communication Association; and editor, Southern Communication Journal. In addition, he received three coveted awards from these associations: The Appalachian Consortium's Laurel Leaves Award; the Carolinas Communication's Betty Jo Welch Service Award; and the Appalachian Studies Association's Cratis William/James Brown Service Award. He also received a recognized tribute for his book Airwaves of Zion, the 1993 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. Finally, Howard earned three recognitions for his teaching at ASU: the 1974-75 Board of Trustees Award in Recognition of Excellence in Teaching, the ASU Student Government Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the 1993 College of Fine and Applied Arts Outstanding Faculty Award.
His other book publications include “In the Hands of a Happy God: The No Hellers of Central Appalachia” (University of Tennessee Press, 1989), “Giving Glory to God in Appalachia” (University of Tennessee Press, 1987), “A New Diversity in Contemporary Southern Rhetoric” (Louisiana State University Press, 1987, with Calvin Logue of the University of Georgia), and “The Oratory of Southern Demagogues” (Louisiana State University Press, 1981, with Calvin Logue).
Dr. Dorgan has over fifty journal articles, encyclopedia entries, and book chapters. He also is a skilled editor having edited two academic journals and served on the editorial boards of four journals.
While at Appalachian, Dorgan developed an interest in Appalachian religious studies, a focus of research that grew out of his earlier study of Southern rhetoric and public address. With the late Cratis Williams as his mentor, Howard initially became fascinated by the highly rhythmical and largely changed homiletic style of the Appalachian old-time Baptist preacher, and he followed this work with his rhetorical and ethnographic research concerning a wide range of exceedingly traditional Baptist sub-denominations, some found only in Central Appalachia. This study has now spanned over thirty years, during which time he also became interested in live religious broadcasting over small AM radio stations within the region.
Dr. Dorgan was also a husband to Kathleen for 51 years, and father to two children, Shawn and Kelly. Kelly Dorgan, an associate professor and research coordinator for the Department of Communication at East Tennessee State University said, “I knew him both as my father and my first research mentor. From my place as his daughter and later as his colleague, I saw that scholars are honorable, curious beings, driven to witness, understand and make better. Through Dr. Dorgan's relentless dedication and unwavering joy, he did indeed make our communities, disciplines, and lives better.”
The public is welcome to attend the Memorial Gathering on August 25. In addition, the faculty of the Department of Communication will plant a tree in Dr. Dorgan’s memory. For information about the memorial or tree planting, please contact Dr.Nina-Jo Moore at 828-262-2717 or email@example.com.
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