UNC School of Journalism’s Jim Mullen Dies at 91

By Wilson Borntrager Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Jim Mullen passed away this past Monday at the age of 91. He is the man responsible for establishing the successful and renowned advertising specialization in the School of Journalism at UNC following his arrival to Chapel Hill in 1959.

Mullen was originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, which is where he obtained most of educational successes. At the University of Minnesota, he earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Additionally, he achieved a master’s degree from Harvard University and served in World War II.

Former faculty member of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tom Bowers, was the second member of the faculty to teach in Mullen’s advertising sequence. He comments on Mullen’s influence on the School of Journalism.

“He shaped that school, beginning in 1959,” says Bowers, “by starting its advertising program, which has grown and is still one of the significant parts of that school.”

Bowers also says that the advertising program continues to hold on to the same construction and values that Mullen established so many years ago.

“He created the basic structure of that advertising program,” Bower states. “That structure can still be seen in those courses.”

Preceding the exponential growth of the advertising specialization within the school, Mullen then retired from his position at UNC in 1986. In 2006, he was honored in the North Carolina Advertising Hall of Fame. The outstanding graduating senior in advertising award is for the School of Journalism is named after him.

He lived in Carolina Meadows in Chapel Hill with his wife, Dorothy.

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