PCAL Mourns Passing of Dr. Larry Winn
- Jessica Luna
- Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023
The Potter College of Arts & Letters mourns the loss of former professor and Department Chair of Communication, Dr. Larry Winn. He passed away on Friday, February 17, at the age of 76.
In 1968, Dr. Winn graduated from WKU with a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Agriculture and later graduated with a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Memphis in 1970 and a Ph.D. in Communication from Indiana University in 1973.
He taught many classes during his 35 years in the Department of Communication including Fundamentals of Public Speaking, Crisis Communication, Persuasion, Public Speech Writing, and Advanced Public Speaking. He also served as the Department Chair for Communication from 1995 to 2001 and earned the title of Professor Emeritus in 2011.
Dr. Winn positively impacted numerous students, faculty, and staff during his time in the Department of Communication. Professor Charlotte Elder attributes her success at WKU to Dr. Winn because, in 1998, he encouraged her to work in the department and served as her mentor until his retirement. “He is one of the finest humans I’ve known, ever. He was brilliant, kind, and had an impeccable moral character,” says Professor Elder.
Described by many as a fantastic storyteller, he authored the book, The Chairperson’s Rulebook (1981), and co-authored Guidebook for Public Communication (1976) and Practical Communication for the Business and Professional Speaker (1981). He also wrote countless peer-reviewed articles and papers and, recently, wrote the informal history of the Department of Communication.
Across his career, he conducted research on a wide range of topics in political communication including My Lai as a rhetorical symbol, the force metaphor in Jefferson Davis’ war rhetoric, contrasting rhetorical strategies at Fancy Farm, and the conflicts between Bob Knight and Indiana University as a case study in university crisis management.
The devastating loss of Dr. Winn is felt throughout both the Department of Communication and the Potter College of Arts & Letters. We offer his family our sincerest condolences.