David E. Sumner

David E. Sumner

Professor Emeritus


David E. Sumner is professor emeritus of journalism, who retired in May 2015. He was head of the magazine media track and adviser to Ball Bearings magazine from 1990 to 2015. During his 25 years at Ball State, he taught courses in feature and magazine writing, magazine publishing, opinion writing, religion reporting, and literary journalism. He is internationally recognized for his scholarship and has spoken and taught workshops in Honduras, Turkey, and numerous journalism conventions and conferences in the U.S. He received the 2007 Magazine Educator of the Year Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and a distinguished faculty alumnus award from the University of Tennessee College of Communication.

Dr. Sumner is the author or co-author of seven books: Fumbled Call: The Bear Bryant-Wally Butts Football Scandal that Split the Supreme Court and Changed American Libel Law (2018); John Thrasher: Georgia Pioneer, Politician, and Philanthropist (2017); Feature and Magazine Writing: Action, Angle and Anecdotes, 3rd. ed. (2013) The Magazine Century: American Magazines in 20th Century (2010), Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry (2006); Graduate Programs in Journalism and Mass Communication (1996) and The Episcopal Church’s History 1945-1985 (1987). Dr. Sumner recently received a Platzman Memorial Fellowship from the University of Chicago Archives to work on his eighth book: The Coach Who Wouldn’t Quit: The Remarkable Career of Amos Alonzo Stagg and His Legacy in Collegiate Football.

Sumner earned the Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Tennessee; a Master of Theology in church history from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee; and a B.A. from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.