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Geoffrey D. Klinger collection

Identifier: MSD-1988-047

Scope and Contents

This collection includes an obituary and memorial service program from various sources in Greencastle, Indiana from 2021 regarding Geoffrey D. Klinger.


  • 1984 - 2021

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote must be submitted to the DePauw University Archives and Special Collections. The publisher must also obtain permission from the copyright holder.


Geoffrey Klinger was a member of the Department of Communication and Theatre. Known to don a toga when teaching about Cicero or a cowboy get-up when teaching about modes of communication, he taught at DePauw since 2003 and was director of forensics, a position in which he directed a nationally competitive parliamentary debate program. He also advised the student-run Debate Society and hosted public debates on campus. His scholarly interests were the connection between rhetoric and social theory; political communications; presidential, civil rights and business rhetoric; and Supreme Court opinions.

Klinger was an outstanding student at DePauw, where he double majored in communication and economics. He was an award-winning debater who graduated magna cum laude in 1988 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, the honor society.

As an undergraduate, Klinger worked as an assistant forensic coach at West Lafayette High School, where he coached the Indiana state debate champions, and at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, were he coached the Kentucky state debate champions. While a student at DePauw, he also studied at the University of Essex in England.

After graduating, he studied at Indiana University, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Iowa, where he earned master’s and doctorate degrees in communication, worked as a graduate instructor and was a graduate student senator. He also was an instructor at Yale, St. John’s and Northwestern universities, and an assistant professor at the University of Utah and Hanover College, where he founded the Communication Center.

But he was inevitably drawn back to Greencastle, joining DePauw as a tenure-track assistant professor in 2003 and earning a promotion to associate professor in 2008. He taught classes at all levels, such as 100-level Public Speaking; 200-level Public Communication and Controversy; 300-level Rhetorical Theory and Criticism; a senior seminar on the Rhetoric of Inquiry; and a winter-term class on Terror Talk: The Discourse of War and Terrorism.

In addition to teaching, Klinger wrote dozens of articles for publication; participated in numerous activities and workshops; and volunteered for countless tasks as disparate as serving on the Athletic Hall of Fame selection committee to hosting the Japanese national debate team. He won a fellowship in 1994 to conduct research in jurisprudence at Cambridge University and the University of Amsterdam; a grant from Hanover in 1998 to research political and economic discourse at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library; and grants from DePauw to conduct research on Alan Greenspan, Eugene V. Debs, Ellskwatawa, Robert Steele and the history of parliamentary debate.

Klinger’s connection to DePauw was maintained by his family. His daughter Celeste graduated in 2018 and his daughter Sage graduated in 2021. His stepdaughter, Jessica Miller, graduated in 2019; his brother Kevin graduated in 1990.

He passed away suddenly at the age of 54 on May 9, 2021.


.43 Cubic Feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by the DePauw Univeristy Archives and Special Collections as a donation.


Further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2021/07/20 by Jenney Taylor.

Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism Repository

Roy O. West Library
405 S. Indiana St.
Greencastle Indiana 46135 United States