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John J. Pauly, Ph.D.: 1949-2018

by Jeanette Grider on 08/16/2018
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Jeanette Grider
Senior Media Relations Specialist

Reserved for members of the media.

John J. Pauly, Jr., Ph.D., a longtime professor and former chair of the Department of Communication, died Saturday, Aug. 11. He was 69 years old.

Dr. Pauly, who joined the SLU faculty in 1993, was a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a Bachelor’s in communications (’72), Master’s in journalism (’74) and Ph.D. in communication (’79).

John J.Pauly

Avis Meyer, Ph.D., professor emeritus and a longtime friend and colleague, said that Pauly’s commitment to his students and his dedication as a chair were inspirational.

“He was a great teacher and a great administrator,” Meyer said. “It’s rare to find someone with such impressive strength in both arenas.”

Meyer said Pauly also had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed having a little fun with some of the routine duties handled by chairs, including writing up an annual précis covering the accomplishments of faculty for the year.

“One year that had been especially good, John left a note in my mailbox with the notation: 'Keep plugging away, Avis. You’ll get the hang of this teaching stuff, eventually.'”

During his years at SLU, Dr. Pauly was honored in 2002 and 2006 with the Student Government Association’s Faculty Excellence Award, in recognition of outstanding teaching. That teaching legacy lives on at SLU where his one-time student is now teaching a new generation of Billikens and reflecting on the impact Pauly – or JP as many called him – made on his life.

“JP was such a thoughtful, brilliant, kindhearted teacher and mentor, not just to me but to countless others," said Dan Kozlowski, Ph.D, associate professor in the Department of Communication.  “I feel lucky that I had him in my life.”

In 2003, the John J. Pauly Award for Outstanding Student Achievement was established. The award is given annually to honor a graduating communication major who hopes to put his or her education in the service of democracy, in careers such as political journalism, public interest law, government service, community organizing or civil rights advocacy.

Pauly’s connection with his SLU colleagues also continued during his years at Marquette. In 2011, he collaborated on a project about the legacy of SLU’s Walter J. Ong, S.J., with English professor Sara van den Berg, Ph.D., who shared her thoughts.

“I enjoyed working with him and had a great deal of respect for his idealism,” van den Berg said.

In 2006, Dr. Pauly left SLU to become the dean of the College of Communication at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Beginning in 2008, he served as provost before stepping down to return to teaching journalism and media studies classes in 2013. He retired in 2017 as Professor Emeritus.

He is survived by his wife Lindsey, and children Kevin Pauly and Melanie (Gus) Bishop. He is also survived by sister Carol (Bob) Linkowski, brother David (Joyce) Pauly, uncles Louis (Dorothy) Pauly and  James (Ruth) Pauly, and a number of nieces and nephews.

A private interment was held at Forest Home Cemetery Wednesday, Aug. 15. A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at Feerick Funeral Home in Shorewood, Wisconsin, with a memorial service immediately following.