Alexander “Alex” Nagy, longtime journalism professor and former dean of MTSU’s School of Mass Communication (now Media and Entertainment), died Sunday, Jan. 17, at Tennessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro. He was 90.
Nagy came to MTSU in 1980 as a professor in the School of Mass Communication after five years as the founding chairman of the journalism department at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. In addition to his two years as acting dean of the School of Mass Communications, Nagy was a journalism faculty member for 25 years before retiring in 2005.
In 1982, Nagy was appointed chairmen of MTSU’s department of Mass Communication after serving as interim chair the previous year. During his seven years as chairman, Nagy pushed for mass communication to be a prominent department on campus. Shortly after his appointment, Nagy told Sidelines his main goal as chairman was to gain accreditation.
“Accreditation gives a student added encouragement that he or she is in a good program and receiving a superior education,” Nagy told Sidelines in October 1986, a year and a half before the college received full accreditation. He also told Sidelines the establishment of the Seigenthaler First Amendment Chair, along with the proposed $11 million Mass Communication building, was considered during the accreditation process.
In 1988, MTSU President Sam Ingram recommended Nagy to the State Board of Regents as interim dean of the new School of Mass Communication until a permanent position could be filled. During his time as acting dean, Nagy worked diligently to help plan the new mass communication building, set up a master’s degree program and to transition the department to a school.
Nagy served as interim chair of the Department of Journalism in 1994 on a temporary basis for two years until the position was filled by Jan Quarles.
Prior to becoming an educator, Nagy worked as a staff writer and state editor for the Sheboygan Press for 10 years, as well as a correspondent for the Milwaukee Sentinel. Nagy’s background includes an undergraduate degree in public relations and a doctorate in mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
According to his obituary, Nagy’s memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 30, at Woodfin Memorial Chapel, 1488 Lascassas Pike, Murfreesboro, with visitation at 9 a.m. and the service at 10 a.m.
The above photo of Alexander Nagy was featured in the June 16, 1982 edition of Sidelines
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