Former professor passed away on Sunday

Earl Ray Hutchinson Sr. was a professor at Tech for 31 years.
(Photo from

A former professor and Director of the Communication Department at Tech died in his Cookeville home on Sunday.

Earl Ray Hutchison Sr., commonly known as “Hutch”, started working at Tech as a professor in 1980 and worked there for 31 years. During his time at the university he restructured courses within the journalism program and served as faculty adviser to WTTU.

Hutch earned a B.A. at the University of Illinois, an M.A. at the University of Missouri-Columbia and a PH. D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his life he worked as an arc welder for General Motors, ran a cattle farm for 10 years, served five years in three infantry divisions, worked as an assistant editor for a daily newspaper as well as a general assignment reporter. He had short stories, essays, and articles that have been in journals, magazines and newspapers across the United States. His television play, TKO, was produced by CBS in the 60’s.

During his time at Tech he prepared Tech students for jobs in the journalism field.
“He had high journalistic standards, and his news quizzes forced us to recall plot lines from his favorite comics (Peanuts and Doonesbury). Looking back, Hutch prepared me for high-demand news jobs,” former journalism student and professor, Christine Seiber posted on her twitter.

Instead of flowers his family invites those who knew him to give a donation to the Cookeville Putnam County Animal Shelter.
A reception will be held at the Golden Eagle Golf Club on Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. in Cookeville.