Former professor dies


Jana L. Haas

Dorothy June “D.J.” Cline, former journalism professor at SDSU died Sunday in North Central Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls. She was 84.

“The whole community and university have lost an outstanding teacher and counselor,” said Elizabeth Williams, a close friend.

Williams is currently a freelance writer for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

“I would rank her as one of the greatest individuals in the state. She was a good friend and it is really a great loss,” said Dr. James L. Johnson, director of theater.

Cline earned a bachelor’s degree from University (Boulder) of Colorado, 1940, and a master of science degree from SDSU, 1976.

Cline began teaching in 1962 at Highmore High School, was the first female state tourism director, and then became an associate professor of journalism at SDSU from 1971 to 1986.

While at SDSU, Cline was the director of the High School Press Association and heled with summer journalism camps. She als ran the internship program and advised all of the freshmen journalism students.

“She did everything she could to help people settle into college life. She was always worried about students,” said former journalism department head, Dr. Richard Lee.

She was president of the National Federation of Presswomen and received the Sprit of Dakota Award in 1991. She was named South Dakota Press Woman of the Year and SDSU Distinguished Alumna in 1990 for Service to South Dakota.

She wrote two books, “By The People, For The People,” on the Brookings utility system, and “Perfection, Never Less” on the life of Very Way Marghab.

She worked for the Alumni Association and was editor of the organization’s newsletter.

Cline contributed to the SDSU Theater Department as one of the original incorporators for Prairie Repertory Theatre (PRT) in 1977. She was the first PRT secretary and president for four years.

“She was one of four remaining people that helped incorporate PRT in 1977. She rarely missed a meeting and was a great contributor. She had great insights and was not afraid to ask important and difficult questions,” Johnson said.

“She was quite a person. She really did a lot for the university and touched the lives of many students during her tenure,” said David Bordewyk, a former student of Cline’s and current general manager of the South Dakota Newspaper Association.

“D.J. was the kind of professor where the students and their interests came first. She was so concerned and so devoted to making sure students got a good education, a good internship, and into a good career. She helped hundreds of students,” he said.

“She would remember everyone’s birthdays and send them birthday cards,” Lee said.

She is survived by two sons, Dean Cline of Tega Cay, S. C., Ward Cline of Emery, SD; and four grandchildren, Vincent Cline, Arvada, Colo., Cnythia Cline, Boulder, Colo., Arend Cline, Emery, SD, and Taran Cline, Brookings, SD.

Her funeral will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday at Luze Funeral Home in Highmore.