[eDebate] [CEDA-L] A sad announcement

Gordon Stables stables
Sun Jun 7 12:12:16 CDT 2009

I can only imagine that someone upstairs is starting a truly amazing
debate program and needed two great coaches and even better human

Others knew John and Frank far better, but I count myself lucky to
have known each of them. We are deeply saddened by their passing but
so much better off for the time we had with them.

Deepest condolences.


Gordon Stables, Ph.D.
Director of Debate & Forensics
Annenberg School for Communication
University of Southern California
Office: 213 740 2759
Fax: 213 740 3913

On Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 12:29 PM, Brian Lain<blain at unt.edu> wrote:
> 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
> year.
> 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
> accountability.
> Services are being planned by the family for June 15, in Denton.
> -Brian
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