CSCA - Obituary for Dr. James W. Chesebro
Obituary for Dr. James W. Chesebro
Dr. James W. Chesebro (Ph.D., University of Minnesota), Past President of the National Communication Association (NCA) and longtime member of CSCA, has passed away. He is survived by his loving husband, Donald G. Bonsall, with whom he had shared his life since 1981. With Jim’s passing, the discipline of communication has lost one of its giants. He dedicated himself to the promotion and development of the discipline through his scholarship, through his extraordinary record of service, and through the countless number of students and colleagues who continue to be influenced by his exceptional teaching and guidance.
Among numerous additional awards for scholarship, service, and teaching, Jim was the recipient of the National Communication Association Golden Anniversary Monograph Award, the Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award, the Robert J. Kibler Memorial Award, the Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education, the Wallace A. Bacon Lifetime Teaching Excellence Award, the Everett Lee Hunt Award, the Eastern Communication Association Distinguished Research Fellows Award, the Eastern Communication Association Distinguished Teaching Fellows Award, the Kenneth Burke Society Distinguished Service Award, the Kenneth Burke Society Lifetime Achievement Award, the Speech Communication Association of Puerto Rico Distinguished Service Award, and the Speech Communication Association of Puerto Rico Outstanding Career in Research Award.
The James W. Chesebro Award for Scholarly Distinction in Sexuality Research is presented in his honor by the Central States Communication Association to scholars who have made significant contributions to the study of gender, sexuality, and sexual identity. With particular focus given to dramatism and to the study of media as symbolic and cognitive systems, Jim’s scholarship spanned the discipline of communication, resulting in significant contributions to multiple areas of study and sometimes actually forging new areas of study.
Through his own example, he taught others how to be scholars, and above all else, being a scholar meant working to make the discipline better.
Words cannot adequately convey the importance and scope of Jim’s influence on the discipline of communication and in the lives of so many people both directly and indirectly. Quite simply, his groundbreaking scholarship, visionary leadership, and passion for teaching and learning did make the discipline better. Ultimately, James W. Chesebro made the world better.
**Thank you to David McMahan for providing permission to use his post to CRTNET.