Story by Abby Siegel, News Editor
Bob McGaughey, retired chairman and professor of the Journalism and Mass Communications Department, was named one of 20 Volunteers of the Year for 2015-16 at the national Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) convention in August.
McGaughey was the only alumnus from Kentucky to be given the honor, and this was the first time the award had been presented. He was nominated by Jerry Penner, Murray-Calloway County Hospital CEO.
According to Pike’s national website, the award was given to “those alumni volunteers who serve in advisory board roles mentoring chapter leadership and members in ethical decision making, chapter operations, risk management and strategic planning.”
McGaughey has been on the alumni board of the chapter for more than 20 years and is on the house corporation that put together the plan and fundraised for the Pike house. He also sponsors the chapter’s rush activities, speaks on the history of the chapter, helps with their public relations and provides scholarship for chapter members.
“Back then, Greek life furnished social life,” McGaughey said. “You did not have the residential college system, you did not have the Women’s Center and all the other centers that provide activities for students – it was mainly the Greeks.”
McGaughey came to Murray State in 1961 and pledged during Spring Rush in 1962, part of the “Fabulous Forty,” he said.
McGaughey said eighteen of the Fabulous Forty went on to receive terminal degrees and averaged a 3.2 GPA for four years.
“It was a bunch of good guys that came together back then,” McGaughey said. “We played hard, partied hard and studied hard.”
McGaughey still is an advocate of Greek life.
“It’s another opportunity for people to get together, to work together, to learn leadership skills and participate in things they might not have if they weren’t involved in the Greek system,” McGaughey said.
McGaughey retired in 1997 after 23 years as chairman.
He has received many honors for his work at Murray State, such as the Max Carman Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1984, Distinguished Professor by the Alumni Association in 1990 and the Golden Horseshoe Award in 2015.
Of all the roles he has had at Murray State, including college head of Elizabeth Residential College, adviser of The Murray State News and department chairman among other roles, McGaughey said his favorite position was teaching.
“At one time, I’ve taught every course that is in the book because I started most of them,” he said. “I started the Ads Club and the PR Club, but really what I like is teaching.”
He was also named the Boss of the Year by the Murray chapter of the Professional Secretaries International in 1989, the Distinguished Organization Adviser by Omicron Delta Kappa in 1997 and an Outstanding Teachers in America in 1996-97. He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2012.
Other honors include named to Personalities of the South, International Men of the Year, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who Among American Teachers, Who’s Who in the Media and Communications, Who’s Who Registry of Business Leaders and Men of Achievement.