A memorial service will be held Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Danforth Chapel for Dr. Keith Johnson, an advertising professor who died July 15.
Johnson, 59, joined the university’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism faculty in 2003.
“He was a brilliant man with a very funny, very dry sense of humor,” Dr. Chris Campbell, the school’s director, said. “He was a great teacher and was notorious for being very demanding. But his students always seemed to rise to the occasion and produce great work. We’re really going to miss him.”
Johnson received his doctorate in mass communications from the University of Georgia, his master’s in advertising from Michigan State University and his bachelor’s in advertising/public relations from New Mexico State University.
He began his teaching career at his alma mater, serving as head of advertising and public relations at New Mexico State. He later taught at the University of Georgia, Louisiana State University and Texas Tech University.
Professionally, he worked as a communications director for a chain of motion picture theaters. He also worked in gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns and managed a congressional campaign. Johnson left the industry to enter advertising education, serving as Director of Educational Services for the American Advertising Federation in Washington, D.C., where he was director of the National Student Advertising Competition and Alpha Delta Sigma Honorary Society.
Dr. Johnson co-authored numerous editions of “Where shall I go to study advertising and public relations?,” a national project that surveyed all university advertising and public relations degree programs annually.
He served as advisor to Golden Eagle Advertising, the USM Chapter of the American Advertising Federation, and also advised the team in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC).
Johnson was a decorated U.S. Army veteran who served as a public information specialist in Vietnam in 1970 and 1971. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal and the Republic of South Vietnam Honor Medal.
Dr. Keith Johnson
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.