CCI Associate Dean Heald retiring after 35 years at FSU

Dr. Gary R. Heald
Dr. Gary R. Heald

Dr. Gary R. Heald, Associate Dean for the College of Communication & Information (CCI), will be retiring in June 2013.  Known as one of the most inspiring and supportive communication professors during his over 35-year tenure, Heald has managed finance, budgeting, academic affairs, and served as Interim Dean, while teaching courses in health communication, computer applications and statistical methods.

On April 26, he was honored and thanked for his contributions in a retirement reception at the Moor Lounge in the Longmire building.  Over 100 hundred guests arrived to commemorate his years at FSU.  Among the attendees were students, university administrators, staff, faculty members, friends and family.

Professors who shared stories and tributes were Dr. Felipe Korzenny, Dr. Donna Nudd, and Dr.  Juliann Woods, and Dr. Jay Rayburn, and Dr. Ulla Sypher.  Other speakers included the CCI Dean, Dr. Larry Dennis, former College of Communication Dean Emeritus, Dr. John Mayo, School of Communication Director and Professor, Dr. Stephen McDowell, and doctoral student, Andrew Ellis.  Each shared heart-warming accounts, recounting tales of Heald’s career accomplishments and virtues.  Heald is admired for his warm demeanor and incredible dedication.  He has consistently demonstrated a passion for teaching throughout his career.

Heald taught undergraduate and graduate courses at FSU, beloved by his students for his wit and warmth.  His skill and passion for quantitative analyses were matched by a passion and caring for people.  As Korzenny remarked, “Sometimes Gary seems to have a double personality: a rigorous research professor and a warm friend.”

Heald has worked with over 20 Department Chairs/School Directors and well over 200 faculty, according to Mayo.  Always setting an example, Heald started a tradition out of respect and kindness for doctoral students, picking up the meal checks when they visited for interviews, inspiring professors like Nudd to do the same for those she would mentor in her own career.

Dennis credits Heald with much success at CCI noting, “Gary personifies excellence and integrity in everything he does.”  The end of the event saw Heald awarded with a plaque bearing the words “In Grateful Recognition of Many Years of Dedicated Service and Leadership,” and a round of applause from former students, students, and colleagues.

Heald’s retirement formally takes effect on June 28.  To the hall filled with friends old and new, he had this to say: “[The greatest thing] that all of the deans and the directors provided me is the chance to teach students.  I’m going to miss the celebration breakfasts with my colleagues, but most of all I’m going to miss the students.  I’ve learned so much from them and they keep all of us young.”  He fondly remembers the moments that defined him here at FSU and his contributions have positively impacted many colleagues.

If you would like to stay connected, Heald can be reached at



Dr. Heald, Dean Dennis, and Dean Emeritus Mayo

Dr. Sypher Presenting Calculator Bowtie to Dr. Heald

Andy Ellis Presenting Shirt Dr. Sypher to Dr. Heald

Dr. Gary and Mary Heald

Dr. Heald with Indiana Jones Hat and Poster

Indiana Jones Heald

Dean Dennis and Dr. Heald with Indiana Jones Poster

Dean Dennis and Dr. HealdSchool of Communication Professors

Dr. Heald with Students

Dr. Heald with Students

Dr. Heald and Dr. Korzenny

Dr. McDowell, Dr. Heald, and Dr. Sypher

 Mafe Brooks, Dr. Heald, and Students

Dave Judy, Dean Dennis, and Jonathan AdamsDr. Korzenny, Mrs. Mayo, and Mrs. Heald

Dr. Adams and Dr. Heald

Neleen Leslie and Dr. Heald