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EIU Department of Journalism

Dr. Daniel Thornburgh


Journalism chairs
Dr. Dan Thornburgh, front right, poses for a photo with David Reed, former Journalism Department chair,  left, and James Tidwell, current Journalism Department chair, during the Oct. 22, 2010, luncheon for the department's Alumnae of the Year.


Dr. Daniel Thornburgh

Dr. Daniel Thornburgh, founder of the EIU Journalism Department and its first chair, died Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011, at the age of 80.

Visitation and services were held for Dr. Thornburgh on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Charleston.

Thornburgh came to Eastern in 1959 as director of information. From 1965 to 1979, he was director of journalism studies housed in the English Department.

Daniel Thornburgh

Dr. Daniel Thornburgh

He was the driving force in the creation of a journalism major (1974), the establishment of a journalism department (1978), and the national accreditation of the program in 1982.

After serving as journalism chair from 1979-84, Dr. Thornburgh became director of university relations. In 1988, his title was changed to special assistant to the president and director of university relations. He retired in 1993.

He served on the Charleston City Council from 1973-77 and was active in Rotary, serving as president of the Charleston club as a district governor. He was named "Citizen of the Year" in the city of Charleston in 1971.

In lieu of flowers the family requested memorial contributions be made to the Daniel E. and M. Adrianne Thornburgh Scholarship at Eastern Illinois University, the Five Mile House Foundation or the Rotary Foundation.

Check out the following links for other stories about DT:

• Journal Gazette-Times Courier

• The Daily Eastern News:

• The Chicago Tribune:,0,3451725.story

 Tom Keefe, former DEN editor:

Past and present faculty of the Department of Journalism at EIU at the department's luncheon for its Alumnae of the Year on Oct. 22, 2010, in the MLK Jr. Union. Left to right, front row: James Tidwell, department chair; David Reed, former department chair; Dan Thornburgh, former chair and department founder; center row, Marta Ladd, retired faculty; Evelyn Goodrick, retired faculty; Liz Viall, Sally Renaud and Eunseong Kim, faculty; back row, Joe Gisondi, John Ryan, Brian Poulter, Lola Burnham and Dan Hagan, faculty.


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Journalism Department

2521 Buzzard Hall
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-6003

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