[eDebate] A sad announcement

Brian Lain blain
Sun Jun 7 11:29:21 CDT 2009

Dear friends,

It is with sad news that I write to you today.  This morning Dr. John  
Gossett passed away at Methodist Hospital in Dallas, TX.  John had  
been fighting infection for the last several days and although his  
spirit was willing, his body needed to rest beyond that which could be  
provided.  Many of you know that Dr. Gossett had been dealing with  
complications arising from infection after his organ transplant last  

Dr. Gossett debated at the University of Houston graduating in 1974.   
He served as a teaching assistant and debate coach at the University  
of Houston from 1974-1976, and then did graduate work at the  
University of Southern California completing his degree in 1979.   
Before coming to North Texas, he served as the Director at the  
University of Northern Iowa (1979-1981).

Dr. Gossett was a member of the North Texas faculty for 28 years.  He  
taught classes on rhetoric and public address and advised scores of  
graduate and undergraduate students.  He served as the Director of  
Debate for ten years, was a member of the NDT Committee from 1982 to  
1990, and a member of the NDT Board of Trustees from 1992-2002  
(serving as chair for four years).  He guided the Department of  
Communication Studies as the chair for seventeen years.  He was  
nominated as the University  Educator of the Year in 1997 and 1998 and  
served as Vice-President of the Texas Speech Communication  
Association.  Dr. Gossett was an active member of the University of  
North Texas community serving on multiple committees to help advance  
higher education in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  He was given the  
'Fesser Graham award for unselfish service and total dedication by the  
UNT student government in 1987.  He was the first recipient of the Joe  
G. Stewart Distinguished Service Award in 1998.  And was given the  
Honors Faculty Excellence Award in 1998.  He even served as the  
announcer for UNT commencements for two years under multiple presidents.

Dr. Gossett was a driving force in the southwest for debate serving as  
the district chair and host multiple times.  Gossett rebuilt the North  
Texas debate program and led the program to be a perennial qualifier  
for the National Debate Tournament. Under his leadership, the team won  
twenty different intercollegiate debate tournaments.  He was a  
forceful teacher impacting many lives directly and indirectly through  
the classroom, the debate world, and his own life.

Dr. Gossett believed in taking debate out of the round and into the  
community.  He was an active Texas democrat, served as advisor to  
former Texas Governor Mark White, and served as an analyst for KDFW-TV  
(Channel 4) in Dallas. He was known for his service and dedication as  
a debate instructor who instilled a sense of intellectual curiosity in  
his students while encouraging personal, civic, and academic  

Services are being planned by the family for June 15, in Denton.

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