Richard "Dick" Gentry | Trinity University

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Richard "Dick" Gentry

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Richard "Dick" Gentry, professor emeritus of communication, died Nov. 3, 2016, at his Burnsville, N.C., home. He was 87.

A long-time professor of journalism and communication, he began teaching at Trinity in 1968. He was the Lozano Professor of Journalism, Broadcasting, and Film and served as chair of the department twice.

Richard GentryShortly after he arrived, Trinity received a major grant that added state-of-the art television and film equipment and studios. Gentry helped to design what was named the Journalism, Broadcasting, and Film Department. He taught courses in writing, media history, and ethics and law before retiring in 1992.

Beyond his administrative and classroom teaching responsibilities, Gentry was always eager to connect Trinity with the wider community. For many years, he directed a summer Journalism Institute that drew nearly 400 Texas high school students and advisers for intensive sessions on newspapers and yearbooks. He also directed an Election Bureau, funded by local media, he recruited members of campus clubs to go to voting precincts and phone in results often hours before they were hand-carried them to a downtown tabulation center.

A former journalist, he served several years on the news staff of the Tulsa World, the city's morning newspaper, before enrolling in graduate study at Stanford University. There he inherited an undergraduate news writing course and found teaching was his passion. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Tulsa, a master's in journalism from Stanford University, and his doctorate in communication from the University of Illinois.

Gentry is survived by his wife of 50 years, Diane, with whom he enjoyed traveling the U.S. and abroad, and shared a love for hiking mountain trails.

Arrangements for a memorial service to be held in Parker Chapel are pending.