DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Life Events > In memoriam: Jill O'Brien, professor emeritus in the College of Communication

In memoriam: Jill O'Brien, professor emeritus in the College of Communication

Stained glass of Vincent de Paul

Jill O'Brien, professor emeritus in the College of Communication, passed away on June 30. She served DePaul University for 34 years, in the Department of Communication and then the College of Communication, in roles that included associate dean of the college, chair of the department and the second communication studies program director.

Jill O'Brien
Jill O'Brien, right, receives the Via Sapientiae Award during DePaul's Academic Convocation in September 2014. (DePaul University / Jamie Moncrief)

During her career at DePaul, O'Brien made substantive contributions to the development of the communication program, including expanding the curriculum to include organizational and interpersonal communication, generating the first concentrations in the communication curriculum, authoring the constitution of the newly formed Department of Communication and the restructuring and professionalization of the DePaul radio station.

O'Brien also developed the first adjunct-faculty orientation program, which became a model for other colleges at the university.

Even as she prepared for retirement, O'Brien made substantial contributions on the University Committee on Academic Policy. She will always be remembered for her wonderful laugh, her great sense of humor and her tremendous work ethic.

Finally, upon retirement in 2014, O'Brien received the Via Sapientiae Award, the highest honor DePaul can bestow upon a member of the university community, in recognition of her distinctive and extraordinary contributions.