BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – LSU’s journalism school was filled with sadness Thursday night as hundreds came to remember the life Dr. Martin Johnson, the Dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication.
“It felt like the wind got knocked out of me,” Richard Haydel said.
“Considering all the loss we’ve faced this year that was one that we weren’t ready for,” Lauren Leonard said.
Johnson died Monday night, leaving behind his wife and young son. Vigil-goers left flowers and wrote cards to Johnson’s family. Each of them saying it’s hard to imagine coming to school every day and not see him, hear his laugh, or enjoying his company.
“The school was so much a part of him and he was so much a part of the school that the two are almost indistinguishable,” Robert Mann, an LSU professor and close friend of Johnson, said. “We’ve lost our heart, in many ways we’ve lost the heart of this school.”
Johnson had only been the dean at the manship school for a few years, becoming the first dean to have graduated from the school. LSU interim president Tom Galligan says it’s clear he left a big impact.
“He was a great Dean, he was a fabulous teacher and he was an honored scholar,” Galligan said.
With the journalism school being one of the smallest on campus many consider it like a family, and Johnson sat at the head of the table. Those that love him say even though he won’t walk down the halls and streets of his beloved university, his memory will never be forgotten.
“He’ll live on forever as one of our greatest mentors, friends, and our dean,” Olivia Peretti said.
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