The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
‘Back to School Bash’ invites K-12 families on July 12
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) drives to the basket during Texas A&Ms game against Nebraska in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday, March 22, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
How Tyrece Radford can catch the attention of NBA scouts
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • July 10, 2024

After 5 years of college basketball at Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, Tyrece Radford is furthering his athletic career with the San Antonio...

Craig Reagans 1973 brown Mach 1 Mustang features custom stickers of Craig and his wife, and is completely rebuilt from the ground up. The interior was completely torn out and replaced with new dashboard and radio.
Compassion in the car community
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • July 9, 2024

This past Sunday, Cars and Coffee welcomed exactly one car: a sleek, brown Mustang that stood alone like a lone ranger in the Wild West. This...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Unexpected death of department head evokes memories of influence


A good professor teaches students about a field of study. A great professor feeds students knowledge that will be carried for the rest of their lives. James Aune, professor and head of the Department of Communication, was a great professor.
Aune died Tuesday after 16 years of teaching at A&M. He is described as a man appreciated far beyond his intellect. His students said he was the teacher they stayed after class to talk to. He was even known for moving a test for things such as Chilifest or sporting events.
Aune had been part of the A&M community since 1996 and had a strong connection with his colleagues and students. Kurt Ritter, professor emeritus of communication and long time friend and co-worker of Aune, said he and Aune shared similar interests, professionally and personally. Over their 16 years of working together, they developed a close friendship.
He was really appreciated for his intellect, Ritter said. He was a really smart guy and people appreciated that of course, but he was also appreciated because he was such a nice person. He was so modest about himself and so concerned with other people.
On behalf of himself and his colleagues, Ritter said Aune was a great teacher and scholar, as well as a great person.
Aune received his doctorate from Northwestern University in 1980. He was an associate professor at A&M since 1996 and became the head of the Department of Communication in 2011.
Through his intellect, Aune gave students a new perspective on the classroom material.
Senior communcation major Mariclaire Ballentine took Aunes Rhetoric in Western Thought class.
Ballentine said Aune took information she would have typically seen as boring and transformed it into something compelling and interesting. She said several of her peers felt the same way.
In addition to being an established professor, Aune reached out to several of his students on a more personal level.
Jeff Pickering, Class of 2012 and former student body president. said that out of all the professors he had during his time at A&M, Aune was his favorite.
He was one of those guys who challenged us as students, but who also cared about people even if we disagreed. Pickering said. He respected us, and we respected him back for what a brilliant man he was.
Ritter said Aune was an influential teacher to his students and the way he taught his material did his students a service.
He taught them the real and hard way. He was careful not to oversimplify, Ritter said. He was such a blessing to our students and it was a wonderful gift that we had someone so treasured by the students, faculty and University.
In 2003, he was honored with the National Communication Association Diamond Anniversary award for his book Rhetoric and Marxism and Selling the Free Market. He also won the Association of Former Students Teaching award in 2004.
The research done by Aune is widely published in several journals and publications. He also served on the editorial boards of Quarterly Journal of Speech, Communication Theory, and Philosophy and Rhetoric.
Aune found family and faith very important parts of his life and was very active in his synagogue and the Jewish community. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

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