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Dr. Robert H. McGaughey  III

Obituary for Dr. Robert H. McGaughey III

February 18, 1943 - June 14, 2019
Murray, Kentucky | Age 76


Dr. Robert H. McGaughey, III, passed away on June 14 at the University of Louisville Medical Center at the age of 76.
He was born Feb. 18, 1943 to Robert H. McGaughey, II and Frances W. McGaughey in Anniston, Alabama, where his father was serving in the Army. He is preceded in death by his parents and is survived by cousins Virginia Buchanan of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Don Adair of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Claudia Ricci of Deland, Florida, Rosalee Anderson of Frankfort, Kentucky, and Ed Owens of Naples, Florida. Also surviving are special friends, Don and Mary Moore of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Phil and Sarah Bryan and family of Murray, Kentucky and Robert Valentine and wife Vicki Jo Stevens-Valentine of Paris, Tennessee.
The family returned to Hopkinsville after World War II where Bob attended local schools and graduated in 1961 from Hopkinsville High School where he was an outstanding athlete and student leader.
Dr. McGaughey was professor emeritus and retired chairman of the Murray State University's Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. As a student at Murray State, he was a member of the Murray State ROTC, a student athlete, and an active member of the staff of the "Murray State News". After graduation he began his master's degree studies in Journalism and became the first Master's graduate of the Journalism program. He received his doctorate in Mass Communications from the Ohio University.
An honor graduate of the MSU ROTC program, he served two years on active duty, including a tour in Vietnam and 18 years with Kentucky's 100th Army Reserve Division, from which he retired in 1985 with the rank of major.
His nine ribbons and medals include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal and the Vietnamese Service Ribbon. He received the Minaret Award for the publication "The News of the Century" (100th division) as one of the top newspapers in the Fifth Army area.
In 1969 he joined the faculty at Murray State University as adviser to the MSU News and as instructor in Journalism. He became chairman of the department in 1974, succeeding the late Dr. L.J. Hortin.
He has had more than 40 publications or presentations, including national conferences of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, the Broadcast Education Association, College Media Advisors of the Associated Collegiate Press Association and Public Relations Society of America.
During his years as Chair, the department grew from 45 majors to more than 400 and received accreditation from the ACEJMC. The department provided 16 percent of all seniors selected to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities at Murray State.
McGaughey received several recognitions and awards for his work at Murray State. In 1984 he was named Max Carmen Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Student Government Association. He was named Distinguished Professor of the Year by the Murray State Alumni Association in 1990.
He was selected eight times to attend the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS) faculty-industry seminar in New York City. In 1987, he was named the Frank Stanton Fellow of the IRTS as the distinguished broadcast educator in the U.S.
Active as an adviser to student organizations and media organizations, he received several recognitions from groups such as Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, including the Pi Kappa Alpha Distinguished Alum in 1977, the Omicron Delta Kappa advisor of the Year, the Kentucky Press Association Distinguished Service Award in 1989. He served for ten years as executive director of the West Kentucky Press Association, and two terms as education representative on the KPA board of directors. In 2012, he was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.
He was named the Boss of the Year by the Murray Chapter of the Professional Secretaries Internationals in 1989. He retired as chair in 1997, but continued to teach, write and speak, often with his long-time associate professor Robert Valentine. Together they were known as "The Communicators" or, to their fans, "Dr. Trey and Dr. Vee."
He was co-head of MSU's Elizabeth Residential College from 2000 to 2002 but continued to serve on the faculty of Elizabeth College and presented his last program there in March 2019.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Lovett Auditorium on the campus of Murray State University. Burial will follow at 2:30 p.m. in the Riverside Cemetery in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Robert McGaughey Scholarship Fund, Murray State University, Office of Development, 200 Heritage Hall, Murray, Kentucky 42071.
Honorary Pallbearers will be and representing Pi Kappa Alpha, Eddie Hunt, Jerry Penner and Tab Brockman, and the Romeo Club, and G.G.G. Golf Group.
Online condolences can be left at,

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Robert McGaughey Scholarship Fund, Office of Development
    200 Heritage Hall
    Murray, KY 42071

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J. H. Churchill Funeral Home

201 S. 3rd Street
Murray, KY 42071
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