In Memory of Professor Thomas Muth, 1937-2010
Thomas A. Muth
February 1, 1937 to October 20, 2010
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Born February 1, 1937 to Alphonse and Grace Muth, Thomas A. Muth died October 20, 2010 at the age of 73.
Dr. Muth was a professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University for more than 35 years. He received a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Dayton, a J.D. from the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from Ohio State University.
Early in his career, Dr. Muth worked as a lawyer and theater manager in New York City, owned and operated Mahogany Hall, a bookstore/bar in Cincinnati, Ohio, and participated in amateur automobile racing. He joined the TISM Department in 1973 after serving as a visiting professor of Communication at Ohio State University.
Dr. Muth was a central figure in Michigan's telecommunication community for three decades, serving as a consultant to government and industry on communication regulatory matters. He led the TISM Department into new areas, encouraging a broad view of the field arising from the convergence of broadcasting, cable, telephone and computer networks. In addition to serving as professor, he served as Acting Chairperson of the department from 1996 to 1999. An award winning teacher, Dr. Muth received an Excellence in Teaching award from the Golden Key National Honor Society in 1989 and a State of Michigan Teaching Excellence Award in 1991.
He was the founding advisor of the Associated Students for a Career Orientation in Telecommunication (ASCOT) student group. He helped start the group in 1983 and was the advisor for many years. His efforts helped guide and mentor students to identify career paths and opened students' eyes to the opportunities available to them. There are many students today who thank Professor Muth for helping lead them to the road of success.
In April 2007, a retirement dinner was held in Dr. Muth's honor. A gathering of 70 alumni, faculty colleagues, staff, family, and friends all celebrated Professor Thomas A. Muth's 35 years of service, teaching, and research at Michigan State University. Highlights from the night included an audio recording from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm recognizing Dr. Muth and a proclamation from Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero declaring April 12th as Thomas A. Muth Day.
A memorial mass was held Monday, October 25, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 955 Alton Rd, East Lansing with the Rev. Mark Inglot officiating. Dr. Muth is survived by his wife of 36 years, Martha; daughter Katherine (Tyler Spencer) Muth of Brooklyn, NY; and son Thomas (Ellen) Muth, Jr. of Lansing, MI.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Thomas A. Muth Sr. Endowment Fund in Telecommunication Information Studies, and Media online at http://givingto.msu.edu/ThomasMuthFund or by contacting the CAS Office of Advancement.
More on Dr. Thomas Muth:
- Lansing State Journal Obituary (published Oct. 22, 2010)
- Funeral Home Obituary and Guest Book with online condolences
- Spartan Podcast from 2005 that includes Dr. Tom Muth and ASCOT Vice President Hailey Kimbrue on ASCOT
- Muth's Greatest Moments Video
- Tom Muth's Retirement Dinner Photos
- Blog and video dedicated to Dr. Thomas Muth by former student