Trinity University, San Antonio | News Release


CONTACT:  Susie P. Gonzalez

Sept. 14, 2010


World-Renowned Scholar Named First Calgaard Professor in Communication and Social Justice at Trinity University


Lawrence Frey

SAN ANTONIO – Lawrence (Larry) R. Frey, a preeminent scholar and award-winning educator, has been named the Ronald K. Calgaard Professor of Communication and Social Justice at Trinity University. He will begin teaching at Trinity in the spring 2011 semester.


In appointing Frey to the position, Trinity University President Dennis A. Ahlburg said, “Dr. Frey is recognized as one of the most influential communication scholars in the world.”  The president said Frey’s expertise in using communication to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups will bring to students a deeper understanding of marginalized populations and their quest for social justice.


Frey currently is a communication professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and has authored or edited 16 books and more than 80 other published works. He is the recipient of 17 distinguished research awards, including the National Communication Association’s Gerald M. Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Applied Communication Scholarship.


Ahlburg announced the Calgaard professorship earlier this year as a means to attract world-class scholars from a variety of fields to Trinity. The endowed professorship is made possible by a $3 million gift from the J.A. Chapman and Leta M. Chapman Charitable Trust and is named in honor of Trinity’s 16th president. Calgaard served at Trinity’s helm from 1979 to 1999, making him the longest serving president in the University’s history.


Frey said he is honored to be the first Calgaard Professor because it is named for a president who was the central figure in bringing Trinity to “a high level of academic excellence and who was committed to promoting diversity.” Frey added, “Dr. Calgaard and I share similar views of the role that communication can play in promoting social change and social justice.”


Frey’s teaching and research interests include group interaction, applied communication, and communication research methods. He seeks to understand how participation in collective communicative practices by people who are marginalized and underresourced makes a difference in their individual, relational, and collective lives. He also examines how communication and other researchers can use their theories, methods, pedagogies, and other practices to promote social justice. In San Antonio, Frey plans to focus his research on one or two community groups that work with marginalized groups. 


Frey considers himself first and foremost a teacher, and he said that he loves being in the classroom because it gives him a chance to work with young people at a formative stage of life. “I hope to give them skills and perspectives that will stay with them throughout their lives,” he said.


He is the recipient of a number of teaching awards, including the 2003 Master Teacher Award from the Western States Communication Association. Frey also has been chosen to receive the 2011 Elizabeth G. Andersch Award from the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University in recognition of his longstanding commitment to social justice, which runs through his teaching, research, and service to the discipline as a whole.


Frey received a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Kansas and a bachelor of science from Northwestern University. Before teaching at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Frey was department chair at the University of Memphis and a faculty member at Loyola University Chicago and, previously, Wayne State University.


Andrew C. Hansen, chair of Trinity’s speech and drama department, said, “Dr. Frey’s breadth of knowledge, experience, and expertise will benefit students and faculty from a number of disciplines at Trinity.”




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