Cole Campbell, Dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism and someone I admired as much as anyone involved in journalism, died this morning in a car crash. In addition to being the dean, Cole was the chief architect behind the graduate program I am in right now. I could be wrong, but as I see it, this program is his baby.
It’s only been a few hours since the accident, so it’s very difficult to grasp right now. My initial thoughts when I heard the news went to his family. His wife and young son deserve to be in everyone’s hearts tonight. Think of them for me, will you?
My own relationship with Cole is one I’ll never forget. The last conversation we had was as inspiring as any I’ve ever had in the context of blogging, citizen journalism, and my own work in the area. What he told me made me want to do so much more than I have. It also made me think I’m completely capable of doing it. I suppose that’s the role of an educator. He gave me confidence. If Cole Campbell liked what I was doing, then I was probably doing it right. If I take nothing else away from his life, then I think I’ll have taken what he thought I should. Thanks for that, Cole.
In his honor, I guess it’s time I sit down and really focus my attention on a good book. He’d have liked that, too.