Tuesday February 8, 2011

A Golden Voice

Retired professor Jack Rang, who was instrumental in the growth of the radio-television program and lent his voice to many University programs, died Monday, Feb. 7.

Jack Rang, an influential communication educator, broadcaster and longtime University of Dayton faculty member died Monday, Feb. 7, at Bethany Village in Dayton.

Rang, 87, served as professor of radio, television and oral interpretation from 1979 through 1994, and continued as professor emeritus, teaching for many years after retirement. He guided the radio-television program for almost 20 years, even serving as general manager of WVUD-FM for a time.

His voice was familiar to University of Dayton audiences. Rang had what longtime friend and communication colleague Larry Lain described as a "big voice" and was often tapped to narrate audio and video productions for the University, including productions for the athletics department and pieces about campus history.

"He had a marvelous, golden, silky, mellifluous voice," Lain said. "He was such a pleasure to listen to. You could hear the smile in his voice."

His career in radio and television extended before, during and after his tenure at the University. He was a familiar presence in commercial radio and television and a popular radio host on WHIO radio, who often filled in for announcers on Christmas morning, Lain recalled.

Lain said Rang was very influential in shaping the department's curriculum as well as the radio-television concentration, and he founded the department's study abroad program in London.

Rang was very student-centered. He guided students on academics and career plans and also reminded them to keep balance in their lives and perspective on their challenges, Lain said.

"Teaching was his passion; he loved to teach and advise students and helped them, with good humor and encouragement, to keep things in perspective," Lain said.

Tom Skill, associate provost and chief information officer for the University, was also a faculty colleague. Skill remembered Rang as an excellent teacher who brought his real-life experience in radio, television and theater to the classroom.

"He was one of the last, great teacher-practitioners," Skill said. "He brought those experiences to students to teach them how to be great practitioners."

Part of Rang's remarkable legacy is alive and well and continues to be heard on campus every time Flyer Radio broadcasts, Skill said.

"His real love was student-run radio. He believed in it and advocated for it and had the utmost respect for a vibrant student radio operation," Skill said. 

A frequent reader at Christ United Methodist Church in Kettering, Rang applied his communication expertise in sacred as well as secular settings. In 1994, he wrote How to Read the Bible Aloud, a guide for lay worship leaders. 

His advice: don't try to replicate the voice of God. "You want your listeners to be aware of the words that are spoken, not the technique. Your job is to proclaim the good news, the gospel."

Rang is survived by his wife, Mary Ruth (Richards) Rang, his son and daughter-in-law David and Sherry (Thomas) Rang, his daughter, Elizabeth Rang, and his grandson, Eric Van Schaik.

A memorial service will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, 3440 Shroyer Road, Kettering, on Saturday Feb. 19 with visitation at 1 p.m. followed by the service at 2 p.m.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.