Remembering a beloved journalism teacher

For more than 30 years—from the 1950s to the 1980s—thousands of Wisconsin high school students learned about news and feature writing at Newspaper in Education programs led by Prof. Bob Tottingham of Continuing Studies (then UW-Extension).

Tottingham passed away on May 29 of this year at the age of 93 in Cape Coral, Fla. He had retired from the university in the mid-1980s.

Tottingham, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UW-Madison, played the trumpet in the UW Marching Band. He was also a founder of the Madison Opera, bringing his powerful bass voice to many of the company’s early productions.

Emeritus Professor Marshall Cook, who shared an office with Tottingham when Cook started out with Continuing Studies, recalls:  “I’ll never forget when Bob serenaded a roomful of newspaper editors and publishers with his magnificent bass voice over breakfast at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. His rendition of ‘My Way’ was, well, amazing.”

UW-Madison Continuing Studies faculty and staff send their condolences to his wife, Shirley Tottingham, and other family and friends.

You can read more about Prof. Tottingham here; a photo of him is available in this 1985 issue of the Wisconsin Alumnus magazine (lower photo).

If you attended one of the Newspaper in Education programs led by Prof. Bob Tottingham, tell us what you remember about it. How did it affect your life?