Journalism professor Bonnie Bucqueroux dies
Why this matters
Bonnie Bucqueroux was a journalism professor, community journalist and progressive activist who died Wednesday.
Beloved journalism professor Bonnie Bucqueroux has died, leaving students and colleagues within the College of Communication Arts and Sciences stunned at her unexpected passing. Bucqueroux had taught in the school of journalism for 29 years.
While she had been out of class for illness since earlier in the semester, the exact circumstances of her death are unclear. Director of the School of Journalism Lucinda Davenport said in a statement that Bucqueroux has come to the School of Journalism in 1995 to work with the Victims and the Media program, and grew within the department from there.
"We will miss Bonnie very much. It was a privilege to know her. She loved students and she loved learning," Davenport said in a statement. "She has had a positive influence on the academic progress of many of our students through the many years and the many courses she taught. She taught them the importance of being a journalist and of freedom of the press. And, she was always on the cutting edge of technology and shared her experiences and knowledge with students."
Journalism professor Sue Carter worked alongside Bucqueroux for nearly 20 years.
"I know her well, know her husband well, met all of her critters, she'll be missed," Carter said. "But I was standing here today, and Bonnie's still here. She's still alive in all of us."
Director of the School of Journalism Lucinda Davenport said Bucqueroux loved helping her students and anyone who was willing to learn.
“Everybody thought Professor Bucqueroux was the most wonderful person," Davenport said. "Her student evaluations were stellar, faculty always went to her with lots of industry news, she knew what was the latest that was happening. She was also a digital pioneer when it comes to journalism.”
Numerous former and current students offered their condolences and expressed their shock and sadness on social media Wednesday.
Other students remember Bucqueroux for the encouragement she offered within her classes.
“I had Bonnie Bucqueroux as one of my JRN teachers and I really enjoyed her class because she is very passionate about journalism and about her students," Journalism sophomore Gabriella Galloway said. "I was really inspired to pursue journalism because of her.”
Progress Michigan also hailed Bucqueroux for her activism and community journalism work.
“Our thoughts are with Bonnie’s family and loved ones during this trying time and I hope they can find peace in knowing that so many people are better off for knowing her and learning from her," Sam Inglot, deputy communications director of Progress Michigan, said in a statement.
"Bonnie was a champion for people who could be found in the bitter cold filming a protest or asking tough questions of elected officials in the halls of the legislature. Knowing Bonnie, she would not want us to be crippled with grief. There are still those in power who need to be held accountable, oppressed people who need their voices and stories lifted and battles for justice to be fought — that’s how she taught her students and lived her life and that’s how we can best preserve her legacy. Rest in power, Bonnie.”
Check back with The State News, as details will be added to this story as they become known.