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Monday, March 15, 2010

Professor Emeritus Ted Nielsen Dies


Hope College Professor Emeritus Theodore Lynn (Ted) Nielsen died on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids following a brief illness. He succumbed to a rare disease called vasculitis, and was only hospitalized for a short while.

Prof. Nielsen was a member of the Hope communication faculty from 1975 until his retirement in 2000. He developed the classroom program of cable broadcasting that gave Hope students on-the-air experience in television production for more than 20 years. He also collaborated with staff colleagues in producing promotional movies/videos for the college. He earned degrees from the universities of Iowa (BA), Michigan (MA) and Wisconsin (Ph.D.). Prior to joining the Hope faculty, he had taught at the University of Massachusetts, Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin. He had also worked in radio and television from 1953 to 1967, and won the Peabody Award in Education Broadcasting in 1958 for his work as director of Fred Roger's Children Corner, forerunner of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, at WQED in Pittsburgh, Pa. In 2000 he retired as the Guy Vander Jagt Professor of Communication. Since retirement he had volunteered at the Holland (Mich.) Museum as a docent and a photographer.

Ted's interests were wide ranging beyond his work. He loved the music of Mozart and Mahler, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the plays of Shakespeare and Chekhov, and the paintings of Van Gogh and Hopper. He enjoyed travel, great food, and good wine. Ted was a sports fan, Cubs and Tigers baseball and UM football especially. His bassett hounds, most of them rescued dogs, were always welcome companions. The family is requesting that memorial gifts in honor of Ted's life and work be made to the Theodore Nielsen Prize Award in Communication at Hope College.

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