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University community extends sympathy to family of Dr. Marlin Shipman


JONESBORO — The university community extends sympathy to the family, friends and former colleagues of Dr. John Marlin Shipman Jr. of Jonesboro, emeritus professor of journalism at Arkansas State University, who died Thursday.

Shipman, a 1969 graduate of A-State, joined the faculty of the Department of Journalism in 1981. He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Missouri. Shipman served on the faculty for 26 years, until his retirement in 2007.

Among his many achievements, he received the prestigious Distinguished Teaching and Service to Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in 1997. Shipman's research led to a book, The Penalty is Death, published by the University of Missouri Press, which was an analysis of how newspapers reported on the executions of women in the United States from 1847 to present. SPJ designated Shipman's work as the nation's outstanding research about journalism in 2002.

Shipman was recognized during the university’s centennial year in 2009-10 as one of the institution’s "First 100 Distinguished Faculty."  The Faculty Association made the selections based on long-term significant contributions to Arkansas State.

Survivors include his wife, Donna, daughter Sarah and her family, and other relatives. A visitation service will be held from 1 until 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, at Emerson Funeral Home. 

The Dean B. Ellis Library clock tower at A-State will be lighted scarlet that evening as a memorial tribute to Shipman and his contributions to A-State and higher education.

The complete obituary is online.

Dr. Marlin Shipman 1946-2022