With a dedication to teaching and a passion for film, Dr. David Daly connected with students and colleagues alike.
"He was quite well liked by everyone he knew," Dr. Joel Persky, professor of media, journalism and film and close friend of Daly, said. "He could really connect with his students despite the tremendous age difference."
Daly, a professor in the media, journalism and film department, died of a heart attack July 8 at the age of 56.
A native of Canada, Daly attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and specialized in film analysis and theory.
Soon after earning his Ph.D in 1978, Daly accepted a position as an assistant professor at SMS. In 1982, he was promoted to an associate professor and became a full professor five years later.
Daly taught film courses such as The History of Film, Understanding Film and more narrow courses like The Films of Alfred Hitchcock.
"Teaching was all he ever wanted to do," Persky said.
In 1990, Daly received the SMSU Foundation Teaching Award for excellence in teaching at the university level, according to media, journalism and film department head Karen Buzzard.
"He was beloved by his students and he was a force in our department," she said. "He brings a great loss in his absence."
Perksy said Daly was straight-forward with people and always spoke truthfully.
"He was very fair and honest, very honest to a fault," he said. "He was very ethical and a man of great integrity."
Daly's professional and social life revolved around the film industry.
"His interests inside and outside of school were film," Persky said. "He watched movies all the time, and that's what he talked about and wrote about."
Daly headed the University film series for 17 years and ran fundraisers to benefit the College of Arts and Letters, according to Buzzard.
Away from the SMS campus, Daly provided film reviews for KY3 television station, The Springfield News-Leader and various radio stations.
Those who knew Daly say he was youthful and had a sense of humor.
"I enjoyed having his classes because of the relaxed atmosphere," senior media, journalism and film student Phill Gladden said. "He was always cracking jokes, and you could say whatever you wanted in class."
Persky recalls sharing laughs with Daly on many occasions.
"He had the tremendous capacity to laugh and he was so funny, interpersonally," he said. "SMS will be a sadder place because they won't have David to sit around and laugh with."
Buzzard said Daly's scheduled classes for the 2003-2004 school year will not be cancelled. Visiting professor Pat Elliot has been hired as a temporary replacement.
A memorial for Daly is planned for Thursday, September 18 at 7 p.m. The ceremony will be held in the Parliamentary Room in the Plaster Student Union, room 313. Speakers include Persky, Gloria Galanes of the communications department and Lisa Rose of KY3 television.
Perksy encourages students to attend the memorial.
"I'd like to see students that had the opportunity to see him teach give a few words about him," he said. "He connected with students on their level because of his youthful approach to film and to life."