Obituary | Patti Harney

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 11:15am

Longtime friend of many College of Journalism and Mass Communications faculty, staff, students and alumni, Patti Harney passed away on May 10, 2022.

Patti had just turned 67 on Friday, April 22. To celebrate, CoJMC ‘77 alumnus Bob Cullinan and associate professor of broadcasting Rick Alloway invited the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s a cappella group, The Red Keys, to serenade Patti on the sidewalk leading to her home. You can see the video here.

Patti first joined the college in 2015 as a lecturer in advertising and public relations. In 2019, she was hired as an assistant professor of practice and was the college's first Honors Faculty Fellow in partnership with the University Honors Program. In this role, Patti laid the foundation for a fruitful collaboration between the college and the Honors Program.

She taught and worked with others teaching honors courses, increased the visibility of the program in the college and established the first CoJMC honors recognition event, which recognized the achievements of both honors students and faculty.

Before joining the college, Patti had an impressive 30-year career at some of the nation's most prestigious advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson in New York City and Leo Burnett in Chicago, where she was an executive creative director and senior vice president. She also worked on some of the most globally recognized brands, including McDonald's, Hallmark, 7-Up, Kellogg's and Disney theme parks.

During her time at CoJMC, Patti was loved by students and colleagues alike. She always brought a sharp wit, smiling face and keen professional acumen to everything she did. She retired from the CoJMC on August 15, 2020. 

The members of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications community have been fortunate to benefit from Patti's profound professional experiences and her passion for guiding young talent.


Patti Harney