Morehead State University mourns loss of professor

Posted at 7:15 AM, Sep 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-13 07:16:21-04

MOREHEAD, Ky. (LEX 18) — Morehead State University’s campus continues to mourn the loss of 71-year-old Dr. Gary LaFleur of Frankfort.

Dr. LaFleur passed away Thursday, September 8.

Vice President for University Advancement Rick Hesterberg says, “This strikes home very deeply when you lose a family member like this.”

Last week, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife reported that LaFleur fell off his boat at the ramp at Mid Lake Marina, attempts were made to rescue him from the water, but were unsuccessful.

At Morehead State, Dr. LaFleur was an associate professor of strategic communication. He’d been teaching for the last 50 years and was at MSU for more than 30 years.

“Dr. LaFleur was all absorbed in that. He was a speaker himself and was very well known for that,” says Hesterberg.

Now, colleagues are remembering the mentorship that he offered students.

Mass communication instructor Steven Middleton says, “He was very outgoing, very much always in discussion, small group discussions.”

This instructor says Dr. LaFleur will be remembered most for the impact he had on students.

“You know, I think Gary would prefer to be remembered as a statesman and, you know, a great mentor to students, and he really cherished the role he had working with young people.”

A scholarship fund has been started in Dr. LaFleur’s honor for MSU students studying strategic communications. Morehead State leaders say LaFleur’s decades-long impact, won’t soon be forgotten.

“I think just the impact that somebody like this has had on our students — people will take some of those memories and the things that he taught them, throughout their career and their life, I think that’s really important,” says Hesterberg.

Morehead State’s leaders say that over the years Dr. LaFleur won many professional awards and recognitions.

For more information on Dr. LaFleur’s scholarship fund and how contributions can be made, you can follow this link.