Even when he was undergoing cancer treatments, associate professor emeritus Michael Hoefges never missed an opportunity to be in the classroom and teach students about the intricacies of media law.
Dean Susan King of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media said that he would schedule treatments for Friday afternoons so that he could recover over the weekend and not miss a minute of class time.
“His desire to stay in the classroom was astounding,” King said. “He wouldn’t miss a class.”
After a prolific and impactful career at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Hoefges died on March 9 at age 61.
Hoefges was born in Atlanta in 1960 and attended the University of Florida, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as a J.D. and Ph.D. After practicing as a defense attorney in civil litigation for several years, he began his teaching career at Trinity University, eventually moving to the University of Tennessee and then to UNC.
In his research and writing, he focused on the application of free speech in advertising.
Hoefges helped to create UNC’s J.D./Ph.D. dual degree program, allowing graduate students to work within the law and journalism schools to pursue a J.D. and Ph.D. in media law.
“Dr. Hoefges was the heart and soul behind our enormously successful media law dual degree program that linked the law school and the journalism school,” David Ardia, associate professor of law, said. “He cared deeply about his students and it showed in all of his interactions.”
Hoefges also served as a panelist with the National Advertising Review Board from 2007 to 2019.