New Endowment Honors Communication Professor Emeritus Ed Funkhouser
Passionate, experienced, funny, awesome.
These are just some of the words students use to describe Ed Funkhouser, associate professor emeritus of communication at NC State.
None are surprising. During his more than 45 years of teaching at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Funkhouser has influenced the academic and professional development of generations of students.
In honor of the veteran professor’s legacy, his family created the Dr. Edward T. Funkhouser Excellence in Communication Endowment to support the Department of Communication, its students, faculty and programs.
Deanna Dannels, dean of the college, announced the establishment of the endowment, a surprise to Funkhouser, at a recent on-campus gathering celebrating Funkhouser’s career and contributions to NC State.
“Ed has been an inspiration and guiding light for our students, a supportive and engaging colleague to our faculty, a thoughtful leader for our college, and a familiar face (and voice) for our alumni and NC State fans near and far,” said Dannels. “He embodies our university’s mission and our mantra to truly think and do.”
Ed has been an inspiration and guiding light for our students.
Jessica Jameson, head of the communication department, added, “It is not an overstatement to say that Ed Funkhouser is a founding member of our department.”
Funkhouser’s daughter, NC State alumna and staff member Caroline Funkhouser, presented her father with a framed certificate with the name of the endowment at the celebration, attended by family, friends, staff and colleagues.
“I hope this endowment will help stimulate and make known academic and professional excellence among Department of Communication students, faculty and staff,” Ed Funkhouser said. “For instance, I expect this endowment will assist students majoring in communication with the costs of study abroad programs. I also hope it will help the department build a variety of new learning opportunities such as student field trips, student travel to conferences, bringing guest speakers and visiting communication experts to campus, and special seminars.”
Ed Funkhouser arrived at NC State in 1977 and never looked back.
During that time, he advised and educated students, engaged in research, advanced scholarship, and provided leadership as associate department head, coordinator of advising, and associate head for undergraduate programs. He also was the college’s assistant dean, director of undergraduate programs, and associate dean for academic affairs.
For his work inside the classroom, Funkhouser was named an outstanding teacher in the Department of Communication three times and received NC State’s Outstanding Extension Service Award in 1991. He is also a member of the university’s Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension.
Funkhouser began his professional journey in Mount Jackson, Virginia, where he worked in broadcasting as a teenager. While attending high school and earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in radio, television and film, Funkhouser worked at several radio and TV stations in Virginia and Tennessee. In between, he served in the U.S. Army and later earned a Ph.D. in mass communication with a minor in organizational behavior.
After joining the communication department, Funkhouser – always comfortable behind a microphone – became the public address announcer for the marching band and later for the football team. In 2003, he originated the familiar that’s another Wolfpack first down cheer, a staple of home games that continues to this day. He was also the announcer for NC State women’s basketball games, and he emcees the university’s commencement ceremonies.
I hope this endowment will help stimulate and make known academic and professional excellence among Department of Communication students, faculty and staff.
Along with teaching various introductory and advanced mass communication, public speaking and public relations courses, he led numerous seminars and workshops across North Carolina. Though he retired in 2014, he currently teaches a course in communication and technology.
“Once again, our new majors have the good fortune of getting to learn from this legendary member of our faculty,” said Jameson.
Funkhouser is the co-author of a textbook, The Process: Understanding Communication Technology and the Media. His research articles have appeared in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, among other publications. Additionally, his passion for photography led to the establishment of the Edward T. Funkhouser Photographs archival collection at D.H. Hill Jr. Library.
Words alone cannot fully capture Funkhouser’s legacy. That is why his family hopes the endowment will create a lasting impact in his honor for future students. The college, grateful for the endowment, echoes that sentiment.
“The family’s hope is for students to never stop learning. Never stop reading. And never stop questioning,” said Caroline Funkhouser, the assistant director of communication for undergraduate admissions at the university. “Because, as Ed always says, ‘knowing stuff matters.’”