In memoriam: Daniel Babb and Bos Johnson


The Marshall community has lost two well-known former faculty members who died recently.

Dr. Daniel Babb, professor of chemistry who taught at Marshall for 42 years and who also served for a time as chair of the chemistry department and an associate dean of the College of Science, died Nov. 18. Bos Johnson, a former  news anchor and news director for WSAZ-TV who served 12 years as an associate professor of journalism, died Nov. 23.

MattJames_DanBabbUpon his recent retirement, Babb was named professor emeritus and continued to be a presence on the Huntington campus.  It is estimated that during his tenure he mentored and taught more than 15,000 students.  He also established the Paul and Catherine Babb Scholarship, which is awarded to a student majoring in chemistry. He was instrumental in developing the original curriculum for the Society of Yeager Scholars as well as the development of the MU Faculty Senate, in which he served for several years.

Babb was the recipient of numerous teaching and service awards during his many years at Marshall.  He received the 2005-06 Distinguished Service Award from Marshall. Because of his efforts to re-charter and re-colonize the Beta Delta chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and his ongoing work as their faculty adviser, he  was given the fraternity’s highest honor, the Grand Senior President’s Award, and was given the title of “Mr. Beta Delta.”  An avid Thundering Herd football fan, he could frequently be seen at the games cheering on the team.

BosJohnson_squareBos Johnson was well known as a longtime reporter and anchor for WSAZ-TV before coming to Marshall in 1976, where for the next 12 years he taught journalism, bringing his extensive experience into the classroom. During his years as a newsman he covered many major news stories, including the Marshall plane crash and the collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant. He left Marshall in 1988 to become a vice president with Charles Ryan Associates, a public relations firm.   In his retirement he played a leadership role in numerous civic and community organizations, including the Campus Christian Center and Leadership Tri-State. His wife, Dottie, is a retired longtime Marshall faculty member.

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Photos: (Above) Dr. Daniel Babb is shown at right with fraternity brother Matt James, who now works in Marshall’s Student Resource Center. Photo courtesy of Matt James. (Below) Bos Johnson taught journalism at Marshall for 12 years. Photo by Rick Lee/courtesy of HQ Publishing.