Terry Dalto
Terry Dalto (C. Kurt Holter /)

Terry Dalton always loved to write.

As a child, he wrote a newspaper in his neighborhood, his wife, Kathy Iannello, said. Dalton's mother typed the paper up and they put the paper out.

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"Journalism was in his blood," Iannello said. "It was just something he was born to do."

Dalton, English professor emeritus at McDaniel College who established the minor in journalism, died Jan. 27 from Alzheimer's disease, according to a news release from the college. He was 71.

He came to then-Western Maryland College in 1990, teaching until just before the 2011 fall semester, when he took medical leave, Kathy Mangan, an English professor and colleague of Dalton's, said.

Every step of the way, Dalton worked with words, Iannello said. He wrote for his high school and college newspapers before he was drafted into the military and joined the Air Force. He worked as an information specialist and, according to his obituary, wrote for the base newspaper during the Vietnam War.

Dalton earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Lafayette College in 1967 and a Master of Arts in journalism from Pennsylvania State University in 1972. He worked for 13 years as a journalist covering courts and politics for the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, before rising to the position of state editor and capitol reporter, according to the release.

He was an assistant and then associate professor on the faculty at Castleton University in southern Vermont for five years before he joined the English department at McDaniel. Dalton created the journalism minor in 1992, designed and taught courses in media ethics and media and politics, and established a chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists, according to the release.

"Journalism was always something that he was just a natural at," Iannello added.

And it's something he wanted to share with others, she said. Dalton was always invested in helping young people, and mentoring them, Iannello said. He was just really interested in getting students to see how important it was to write well and the impact they could have, she added.

"He was always committed to their development," Iannello said.

Mangan, whose office was next to Dalton's at McDaniel, said every morning he was cheerful and upbeat.

"A good morning or a hello from Terry always felt genuine," she said.

And with their offices close together, Mangan said she would overhear whenever he worked with students. He was careful and caring when working with them, and was a terrific mentor, she added.

Dalton sent a number of successful people into the journalism field, she said, and also brought established journalists onto campus to let students see some of those who are in the trade.

"He was just what every academic department would want," Mangan said.

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David Greisman, who was a student of Dalton's from 2005 to 2007 and is currently senior manager of media relations and communications for Columbia Association, said Dalton was someone who invested time in his students' futures. Greisman learned from Dalton both in the classroom and out, he said, and Dalton inspired him to be a better writer.

Dalton was someone who helped him get his first internship, Greisman said, and, even after he graduated, Dalton stayed in touch.

"He became a mentor and a friend," Greisman said.

And it wasn't just with him, Greisman said. Dalton had hundreds and hundreds of students over his time, and continued to work with a lot of them over the years because he wanted to see them succeed.

"Terry saw potential in me and worked in multiple ways to help bring that potential to reality," Greisman said. "He was a kind, funny, intelligent man who gave so much."

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McDaniel memorial

What: Memorial service and reception to honor Terry Dalton

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19

Where: Baker Chapel, followed by a reception in McDaniel Lounge



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