Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Southern Illinois University loses beloved professor

Photo by Andrea Hahn
Photo by Andrea Hahn

Southern Illinois University tenure professor Scott McClurg died Saturday after a long struggle with brain cancer.

“Scott was a very good person. Very nice and considerate. Always positive and encouraging. His long fight with his illness was heroic. He will be dearly missed,” said Dong Han, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Advertising.

Growing up in the St. Louis area, McClurg often swam in Coldwater Creek, which is now known to be contaminated with nuclear waste.

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During the time of the Manhattan Project, Uranium for the first nuclear bomb was refined in downtown St. Louis and the leftover radioactive waste was dumped near the creek.

Many who played in the contaminated water or came in contact with it have had health concerns, including identical cancers.

While concerned activist group leaders in the area are working toward a resolution on a national level, there have not been any bills passed providing families with compensation for their struggles with the issue.

“I remember Scott once forwarded a news story on the nuclear dumping and the health problems of his high school class,” Han said.

Vicki Kreher, senior lecturer in the school of Journalism and Advertising said, “I sincerely hope something is done for the families of those who were affected by the Coldwater Creek contamination.”

McClurg held a Ph.D. From Washington University, a joint appointment with CAM’s School of Journalism and Advertising, CoLA’s School of Anthropology, Political Science and Sociology. He began his career at SIU in 2001 and became a full time professor in 2012.

Professor McClurg served as Interim Director of the School of Journalism and Advertising as well as Interim Chair of Political Science.

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He is most recognized for his application of social network analysis to the study of political communication, with a particular focus on social influence.

Many of his colleagues are deeply feeling his loss.

“This is very sad. Scott provided great guidance to many of our students and was amazingly able to keep up his spirits burning his long and difficult illness. He was a treasured colleague,” William Freivogel, a professor in the School of Journalism said.

In a ten question interview with Southern Illinois in 2011, McClurg was asked what he would like his gravestone to say about him. He responded with, “why are you reading this, McClurg’s dead already. Go live, would ya?”

News Editor Joei Younker can be reached at [email protected].

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    Joanne MillerApr 23, 2024 at 4:35 pm

    Dr. McClurg was indeed a beloved professor and friend. To correct some incorrect information in this obituary, Dr. McClurg joined the Political Science Department at SIU as a full time Assistant Professor in 2001. He received tenure and became a full time Associate Professor in Political Science at SIU in 2007. He was promoted to Full Professor in Political Science in 2012, and joined the School of Journalism as a Full Professor in 2013.

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