Death of Dave Turnage, developer of Faculty Innovation and Creativity Fund for the Study of Political Communication

Turnage created the fund in collaboration with retired Professor Laura Roselle to help further the study of political communication and media literacy, with grants supporting speakers, research and dialogue at Elon.

Dave Turnage, whose contributions led to the development of the fund focused on the study of political communication and media literacy, passed away on Nov. 17, 2022. He was 90.

Dave Turnage

Turnage, who spent most of his career as a program administrator at Alamance Community College, made contributions to the creation of the Turnage Family Innovation and Creativity Fund for the Study of Political Communication at Elon. The inaugural event for the Turnage fund was the “Media and Politics: Openness, Accuracy and Honesty in the 21st Century Media Landscape” held in spring 2011.

Turnage developed the fund to support Elon students and faculty as they seek to have an impact on the world. Working with Laura Roselle, professor emerita of political science and policy studies, Turnage funded the program to support faculty research and foster the interests of students and other members of the community in the world of politics.

Through the Turnage Fund, Elon has hosted speakers including Ruby Sales, James Fielder, Peter Levine, Doug McAdam, Siva Vaidhyanathan and Kathleen Searles. In collaboration with the School of Communications, the fund supported a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting event at Elon in 2018 with veteran reporters Rachel Oswald, Reza Sayah and Tom Hundley. The Turnage Fund has also supported research by Elon faculty including Safia Swimelar, Kelsey Bitting, Harlen Makemson, Damion Blake and Douglas Kass.

Associate Professor of Political Science and Policy Studies Baris Kesgin is currently the director of Turnage Fund, which continues to support student and faculty research and community events serving the Fund’s mission.

A graduate of N.C. State University with a degree in mechanical engineering, Turnage spent two years in the U.S. Air Force before joining the staff at Alamance Community College. He was a member of the board of the Greensboro Opera, an active member of the Burlington Dinner Rotary Club and the YMCA.

A memorial service for Turnage will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Elon Community Church with a reception to follow.