Lippold remembered for his enthusiasm, dedication to university

Henry Lippold, a beloved retired broadcast journalism professor from UWEC, died at 89

More stories from Stephanie Janssen



Professor Henry Lippold checking his watch.

Henry Lippold’s life consisted of a 55-year-long broadcast and academic career with nearly 30 years of teaching broadcast journalism at UW-Eau Claire.

The retired professor died Oct. 20 at the age of 89.

Lippold was passionate about broadcast journalism from the beginning.

While attending college at UW-Madison, he worked at WOSH (Oshkosh), WIBU (Poynette) and WHA (Madison). After graduating, he worked at the Sellwood-Moreland Bee in Portland, Ore., then WLS (Chicago) while attending Northwestern University. His first job as a television anchor was at WMT in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, from 1954-1959. In 1959, he began teaching at the University of Illinois, splitting his time between academics and serving as the news director and anchor/reporter/writer for WILL-TV.

In 1972, he came to UW-Eau Claire, where he developed the broadcast journalism curriculum. Over the next 30 years, he mentored hundreds of students about broadcasting, with quite interesting antics.  

Judy Clark, a former student of Henry’s and now anchor at WEAU-TV, said Henry would jump on desks and go down to the floor to give lessons about camera angles.

I think everyone talks about his antics in the classroom when he wanted to show you what a photographer needs to know in terms of angles of a shot.” Judy Clark said. “… You were kind of like, ‘What’s going on here?’. There’s this professor up on the table and down on the floor and so all of those memories I think people really have of Henry that really mean a lot because it’s just something you’ve never seen before.”

He also worked part time at WEAU-TV news in the 70s while he was teaching and was co-founder of the Western Wisconsin Press Club. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002. After his retirement, he continued to produce news programs for Wisconsin Public Radio and Chippewa Valley Community Television.

His teaching inspired many students to continue to be journalists. Clark described his teaching style as infectious and an incredible experience.

“Henry had a way of teaching that was infectious and he was fired by curiosity and just a love of journalism, asking questions, knowing why things are the way they are,” Clark said, “and it was an incredible experience to have a class with him because he was such an, again, inspiring person that was full of integrity but he was a lot of fun, too.”

Everyone who knew Lippold had such good memories to share of him.

Jan Larson, the department chair of the Communication and Journalism department at UW-Eau Claire, was a colleague of Lippold’s and remembers his enthusiasm.

“I just remember him having so much energy — he would kind of bounce forward onto the tips of his toes and he would grab his tie and shake it at you and just have so much energy and enthusiasm,” Jan Larson said.

Lippold called his students by their last name, Larson said. He was known for always being on the move. Even after leaving the department, Larson said, Lippold remained active in the community through volunteering with public radio and television.

Larson said he was very supportive and encouraging as a colleague and she really appreciated that being a young teacher at the time.

Clark will always remember Lippold’s message of the necessity to be curious and caring to succeed in journalism.

“He always said,” Clark recalled, “‘There’s no such thing as a dumb question, just dumb reporters.’”

Janssen can be reached at [email protected].