David E. Sumner

David E. Sumner

Professor Emeritus


David E. Sumner, PhD, is professor emeritus of journalism. 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 and Turkey. He has presented papers at numerous journalism conventions and conferences in the U.S. and Canada. 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: Amos Alonzo Stagg: College Football's Greatest Pioneer (2021); Fumbled Call: The Bear Bryant-Wally Butts Football Scandal that Split the Supreme Court (2018); 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). He is currently writing the second edition of The Magazine Century: American Magazines in 20th Century (with co-author Samir Husni), which will be published in 2023. The first edition has been referenced in more than 140 books, journals or dissertations. 

Sumner earned the PhD in 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. He lives with his wife, Elise, in Anderson, Indiana.