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NIU remembers journalist Hallie J. Hamilton

December 20, 2013
Hallie J. Hamilton

Hallie J. Hamilton
Photo courtesy of the Northern Star

Hallie J. Hamilton, who joined NIU in 1958 and taught journalism from 1961 until his retirement three decades later, died Thursday, Dec. 19, in DeKalb. He was 89.

A World War II veteran, Hamilton created the photojournalism program at NIU. He also taught courses without cameras, including advertising copywriting, article writing, industrial editing, layout and even press problems. During some summers, he served as adviser to the Northern Star.

In 1971, he won NIU’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. In 2011, he was inducted into the Northern Star Hall of Fame.

“Hallie does not teach just photojournalism, or even just journalism,” former journalism chairman Don Brod wrote in 1977. “He teaches an attitude, a feeling of responsibility, a love of learning.”

He began his NIU career in Regional Services, where he was supervisor of student and sports publicity. Before coming to DeKalb, he worked for newspapers in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, and as an industrial journalist in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Joliet.

Born in 1924 in Bridgeport, Ill., he earned a journalism degree from Franklin College in Indiana. He completed his master’s in journalism at Northwestern University. Eventually, he earned his doctorate in 1968 from Indiana University.

hamilton-hallie-deskIn April of 2012, he was one of 94 World War II veterans who traveled to Washington, D.C., for a free one-day trip courtesy of Honor Flight Chicago.

Hamilton is survived by his wife, Floann; daughter, Kim (Jim) Shine of Evergreen Park; sons, Bret H. (Ann) of DeKalb and Kord J. (Tom Colletta) of San Francisco, California; and several grandchildren.

The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at Mayfield Congregational Church, 28405 Church Road in Sycamore.

A visitation is scheduled from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Anderson Funeral Home, 2011 S. Fourth St. in DeKalb.