Dennis Hale


Dennis Hale passed away on March 15, 2008. He taught in the Department of Journalism at Bowling Green State University from 1980 until his retirement in 2005.

This is a page for you to post your memories and thoughts of Dr. Hale. Whether you are a colleague, former student or acquaintance, feel free to share with Dennis’ family and others who knew him.

Click the comments link below to add your thoughts.


33 Responses to “Dennis Hale”

  1. francey ackerman-edelen Says:

    I remember taking Dr. Hale’s J Law class in 1992. I was really dreading the memorization of what I thought would be “meaningless facts.” Dr. Hale brought the court cases to life in the classroom, and we learned about the history around each law. It was fascinating. As a result, I found myself excited to go to each class and learn about important events that shaped my field.

    Not only did I enjoy how he structured the class, I enjoyed Dr. Hale as a person. I remember his kindness, and he always had quirky sense of humor that made approaching him and learning from him comfortable.

    –Francey Ackerman-Edelen

  2. Julie Horger Says:

    Dr. Hale was an outstanding professor and a great person. I took his Journalism Law class as an undergraduate at BGSU, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. He was always smiling and laughing, and he clearly loved his his job. Dr. Hale was also great to work with on GLIPA, and he really cared about a thriving student press.

    The photo on this website made me smile, because it is exactly how I remember him–always smiling!

  3. Julie Hagenbuch Says:

    I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Hale as an undergrad and then later, as a peer when I joined the JOUR faculty. I also went to grad school with his wife, Donna. Dennis was the kindest personality and has was so laid-back. It was always nice to see him meandering down the halls of West Hall, with a big goofy smile on his face. You couldn’t help but smile back. Best to his family, especially Donna during this difficult time.

    -Julie Hagenbuch

  4. Tori Ekstrand Says:

    I remember Dennis for a number of things:

    First, how welcoming he was when I interviewed here. He kept saying “You know…You can have this law job when I leave which won’t be too long from now.” He was just so gracious on that score.

    Secondly, he was always publishing. Law journal here, law journal there…he pumped it out. It was inspiring and he definitely went against the grain of the deadwood full professor.

    And finally, he was always helping me put in perspective the sometimes crazy antics of academics….and explaining to me that the academy is full of people who are full of that brilliant craziness..

    He was that reassuring voice down the hall for me. He will be missed.

    Tori Ekstrand

  5. anonymous Says:

    Dr. Hale was a good man. He will be remembered; he will be missed.

  6. Rick Peltz Says:

    It was a pleasure to meet Dennis when he came to Arkansas for a symposium a few years back, 2000. He was a wonderful conversationalist and full of vigor and ideas. I surely feel his absence. My sympathies to Dennis’s family and friends. -Rick

  7. Doug Ferguson Says:

    I knew him as a student and a colleague. Humor Writing was such a fun grad class back in the 1980s.

    His research was an oasis in the School.

  8. Bruce Klopfenstein Says:

    Dennis was always steady despite a raucous political environment that ensued when two departments with different histories, missions and cultures were brought together (journalism and telecommunications). He also had another great trait that was in short supply in the new school: humility. And everyone is right, he was always smiling. I don’t think I remember Dennis appearing to “have a bad day.”

    There are two quotes from Dennis I’ll never forget, both surrounding engaging him in conversations about current events. I don’t remember the content, but I remember bemoaning people on the right politically not seeming to be critical thinkers, and he said “Well, that’s why they call them knee-jerk conservatives.” I burst out laughing and still use the line myself. The other came about even before we had Fox News. The Toledo Blade and Columbus Dispatch were both owned by conservatives, their coverage often bothered me (especially when compared to the Cleveland Plain Dealer), and I think I was telling him that I worried about whether or not people could see through the bias in the papers and other news media. He said, “Oh, I don’t know. I think people are pretty smart and I have faith that they can figure that kind of thing out for themselves.” Coming from him, I believed it, and it literally made me feel better after hearing him say it.

    Finally (well, can there be a finally?), Dennis was by far one of the most collegial members of the faculty and I spent 15 years on the faculty with him. Though often an activist, I sometimes took my cues from Dennis’s non-confrontational, thoughful, and seemingly apolitical views of the challenges we met at BGSU. Certainly Dennis was one of the most easy people to get along with of anyone I have met in my life, and I do not say that lightly. I’d be hard pressed to think of anything Dennis ever said that reflected negatively on anyone else. I treasure that posture in a person.

    So I am surprised and saddened by this news. I wish Donna and his family only the best at such a difficult time, and I share the sadness, I’m sure, of all the faculty who had the pleasure of serving with him as a wonderful faculty colleague.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Dr. Hale was my first experience of a rare commodity: a genuine human being in the culture of haughty academics.

    Upon hearing I was applying for a position at a school with which he was familiar, he offered to write a letter of recommendation without my asking for one.

    It’s simply unfair that someone so authentically modest and generous should be taken so soon.

  10. Ted Carlin Says:

    I will always remember Dennis as a genuine, caring, and dedicated professor. I was fortunate to have class with Dennis, and to work with him on some of his chain ownership studies, and he imparted an attention to detail and thought-provoking analysis that I still find unique today. He was a true joy to be around. On my trips back to BGSU since graduation, Dennis was always willing to chat, catch up, and listen – even with a “broadcaster” like me. Like Hal Fisher, Dennis always had time to listen and make you feel important. There were so many great people at BGSU when I was there in late 80s, and, yet, Dennis always stands out as one of the best. Thanks, Dennis!

  11. J. Michael Sproule Says:

    Whether talking to Dennis at a convention or dropping by his office in West Hall, I could always count on these conversations to brighten the day. His humor, candor, positive energy, and good cheer will live on in the memories of his many friends and admirers.

  12. Diane Loeffler Says:

    I first met Donna and Dennis through Welcome Wagon about 26 years ago. We played euchre together for 25 years (well, when we weren’t eating or talking…), went camping together in Indiana, West Virginia, and Miami, Ohio (in a blinding snowstorm), and shared both adventures and ordinary, day-to-day life.

    I loved his smile and his laugh. I always felt that Dennis was truly interested in what everyone had to say. He was a fantastic listener who smiled and laughed easily. He had great insights and was a brilliant man, but he was also one who listened thoughtfully to views other than his own.

    He could–and usually did–laugh at anything. He made us all feel like we were clever and funny. He also had the rare gift of being able to laugh at himself.

    I really, really hate using past tense verbs here. Dennis was a part of many people’s lives, and his memories and influence will live on in our minds and hearts.

  13. Lance Teaman Says:

    Dennis was one of the rare “gentlemen” I met over the years. Never a bad word for anyone, and able to see the lighter side of life. His smile and laugh were infectious.

    As an intellectual, Dennis could discuss a myriad of topics without making you feel like an idiot. He was a joy to be with, and will be greatly missed.

    I will now have to find someone else to lose to at Euchre.

  14. Terry Rentner Says:

    I will confess that I have made fun of Dennis. How many of you can relate to this:
    When you asked Dennis a question, he’d lean back in his chair, fold his arms and start his response with a long drawn out, “Well…..” It is because he was such a gentle and caring person with a great sense of humor that I (and other journalism faculty) could jest with him this way.

    I missed him when he retired, and I miss him terribly now. Donna, you and your children are in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. Pamela Palme Says:

    I met Dennis about one year ago in a small bible study at New Bethel Methodist Church in Glen Carbon IL. I found him to be very personable. I though he had been a Christian for many years. He seemed so comfortable with his faith. I was surprised when I learned after his death that he had just recently became a Christian. I was touch by both Donna and Dennis I really enjoyed chatting with them both after church. Even though I did not know Dennis well I felt I had a friend in him. He will be missed but we will meet again in glory. Donna I look forward to seeing soon God is good Pam Palme

  16. Teresa Hucker Says:

    I met Dennis back in the 70’s when he was dating my Aunt Donna. Before they married, I remember once Dennis put me up to sneaking out of Donna’s apartment and tossing lit firecrackers close to the noisy deck party going on in the adjoining apartment building. There were a lot of screams and people scattering, which the rest of us found hilarious as we watched from the second floor bedroom window.

    That is just the first in a long list of happy memories I have of my uncle. We shared a love of family, humor and photography. I would take a small photo album of my latest odd and end 4×6 photos to show him, and he would in turn show me a magnificent shot of something that was blown up to poster size (for about $12), and then laugh because the professional matting job cost $350.

    Donna called me one Friday in January and said come spend the weekend if you are not busy. So, that afternoon I baked homemade bread for Dennis, because I knew he had problems finding bread without salt, and when my husband arrived home from work, we headed to Edwardsville for the weekend. We had a wonderful day on Saturday because we went to Springfield with Dennis and Donna, just tooling around town and taking in a few sights. Looking back, I would not trade that weekend for anything. We had a ton of laughs and I will always have wonderful memories of that weekend.

    I miss you uncle…

  17. Kim Fatica Says:

    Dennis always seemed to appear eternally youthful, full of energy and lively conversation. He was genuine; a real gem of a human being who was earnest in his caring for students and friends.

    It’s comforting to read such kind remembrances. They are a wonderful tribute to Dennis and his exemplary life.

  18. Hilary Tarkington Stowers Says:

    During my time at BGSU (1992-1996), I had both Dr. Hale & his wife Donna as professors. I recall Dr. Hale as being a warm, friendly, amiable person. I was sorry to read this sad news in the latest issue of NEWS Makers. I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to his wife and family.

  19. Srinivas Melkote Says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Dennis for over 20 years. He was one of the most affable colleagues that I have worked with. His office door was always open and you could always count on him for a good conversation.
    During my first few years at the School of Mass Communication, Dennis was one of the senior colleagues who mentored me. He was a good friend and a good man. I will forever miss colleagues like him.

  20. Ana Pereira Says:

    I took Dr. Hale’s Journalism Law & Ethics class sometime in the late 90’s. After my undergraduate studies I returned to BGSU to pursue a masters degree in Public Administration. In a quick visit t the journalism department, I met with Dr. Hale who gave me a book called “The Business of Media” by Croteau & Hoynes. it was this book tht guided me through my Master’s studies and more recently through my PhD, as I was writing on the topic of media management and economics. I am not sure Dr. Hale knew how much of a mentor he was to the students. My thoughts are with his family colleagues and former students. He was a great human being and will be dearly missed!

  21. Jeffrey Hedrick Says:

    I remember Dr. Hale as my advisor and mentor from 2002-2005, while I was at SCS in the PhD program. We shared a common passion for communication law, and both tried to submit article to the 40th anniversary Times v. Sullivan Comm Law & Policy special issue…we both got shot down; I got my notice earlier, as well the student should, and he got his later. He was great at consoling me through the ups and downs of getting my degree. Whenever I needed a boost, incentive to go forward, I knew where to go.
    But what I remember him most for was 1) he was a great listener: but most importantly 2) he had a wonderful sense of humor, and a positive outlook on life. We would share things like funny editorial cartoons we ran across, a high point in any day that happened. He was a wonderful man, like a second father in many respects to me, a very close friend that I dearly miss.

  22. Tim Gleason Says:

    Dr. Hale was the finest person I have met in academe. I felt lucky to have known him, and especially fortunate that he served on my dissertation committee. I’ll miss our e-mail conversations about photography and the career advice he was still giving me. It is amazing that so many people have thought of him as a second father, but it is absolutely true. He was a great human being.

  23. Jim Good Says:

    I am so saddened to learn of Dr. Hale’s passing. I took a course or two of his in the mid-90s. But what I really remember about him was his love of humor. He loved to laugh, and I’d often visit him in his office to talk about humor writers, to tell jokes and to just enjoy a good belly-laugh. I’ll always remember him as a very kind man who loved to laugh, could make me laugh, and treated everybody with respect and kindness.

  24. Liz McVey Bollinger Says:

    When I transferred to Bowling Green in 1997, Dr. Hale was the first professor with whom I met. I was lucky enough to have him as my advisor, too. He was always kind and extremely helpful, offering the best advice by actually listening to what I had to say about my college/career path before giving his opinion. I feel lucky to have known and had a connection with him. I’m so sorry to hear this sad news and am keeping his family in my prayers.

  25. Justin Crawfis Says:

    Dr. Hale had a distinctive laugh and easygoing personality. I was fortunate to have taken two of his classes: JOUR 450 – Journalism Law & Ethics (fall 1999 semester) and JOUR 420 – Public Affairs Reporting (fall 2000 semester). He made these classes interesting and relevant, and I am so thankful to have had the honor of having Dr. Hale as a professor.

    The extent of his knowledge was impressive, and so was his sincere concern for students. In 2002, I asked Dr. Hale to write a letter of recommendation for me, which he kindly (and promptly) completed. I will always be grateful for that, as well as the Kappa Tau Alpha certificate he sent me in April 2001, shortly before I graduated.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, colleagues, and former students.

  26. Carrie Whitaker Says:

    Dr. Hale taught at BG my freshman year before leaving on a sabatical, but the charming man came up in so many conversations in the BG News newsroom. I remember his kind smile, always inquisitive but relaxed. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing.

  27. Tom Edwards Says:

    Once again reaching out for counsel, I learn that Dennis is gone. A piece of me is gone too. Thinking out loud with Dr. Hale, was an occasional but rewarding exchange. I will miss that anticipated visit. My condolences to his family, peers, all who loved him, as did I.

  28. Estelle Beaumont Says:

    I was a student of Dr. Hale’s in the early 80’s. As an RN wanting a degree in journalism and wanting to transfer as many credits as possible, he was kind, patient, and supportive toward me–even when the school wanted to count my nursing credits as Home Ec instead of nursing!

    It was obvious that he took journalism seriously and he put a lot of himself into the classroom assignments. A serious-minded, caring professor such as Dr. Hale is a rare find. To his family and the many students who benefitted from his help, I extend my sympathy and good wishes.

  29. Matt Says:

    Dr. Hale (Denny, as I will always remember him) and I were good friends during our undergraduate years in the 1960s. We worked on the school paper together and spent hours discussing the political landscape of the time. One could not have a better friend -ever.

    After college I was drafted, sent overseas for three years and never returned to our hometown. We lost touch. I always meant to try to “catch up” with Denny but my 30-year career as a working journalist had me constantly traveling and moving and I “never got around to it.” You have no idea, now, how much I regret that decision.

    From the comments above it looks like Denny never lost his zest for life or the twinkle in his eye or his love of helping people. We all know that we have lost a truly bright soul. What you might not know is that Denny was a great “drinking buddy” and he could play a mean game of pinball. 😉

    I will always remember you, my friend.

  30. Heather Engel Says:

    Dr. Hale was an outstanding professor. I very much enjoyed his Journalism Law & Ethics course. He was also my advisor my senior year. Dr. Hale had a wonderful heart and great sense of humor.

  31. Bob Drechsel Says:

    Denny and I were friends for literally decades, having met via AEJMC in the days when it was still AEJ. We shared a scholarly interest in media coverage of the judiciary and in nontraditional ways of studying media law. His work inspired me, but above all, I remember him as one of the most principled people I’ve ever known, a man who practiced what he preached and did so with the a sort of grace and modesty that made his example all the more effective. I cannot believe he is gone, and am glad to have belatedly discovered this forum for remembering him.

  32. Sam Winch Says:

    Dennis was a great colleague–he embodied the term collegial. I have missed him ever since I left BGSU in ’97. I hope Donna and the kids will be proud, knowing how much Dennis meant to so many people.

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