Recognizing and remembering the life of Dr. McClung

Waynesburg University has recently gone through a hardship that is felt deeply among the entire institution, as Dr. Gordon William McClung passed from this world on Oct. 2, at his home in Morgantown. Despite the grief that is felt all around, it has also been a time for administration, faculty and alumni to come together to remember and recognize the impact and ongoing legacy that McClung has had over the course of his nearly four-decade career in higher education.

     University Relations released a statement on McClung’s impact he has left on Waynesburg University while serving in multiple roles since coming to campus in 2008. “Dr. Gordon McClung, Professor of Marketing, served as Chairperson for the Department of Business Administration for 13 years (2008-2015 & 2017-2023), leading a program that prides itself on providing students a practical experience from knowledgeable faculty, invaluable internships and hands-on learning centered on steadfast business practices. Under Dr. McClung’s leadership, Waynesburg’s Department of Business Administration has been recognized repeatedly as a “Business School of Distinction” by Colleges of Distinction. The University continues to maintain a high-caliber program, as evidenced by the achievement of various program outcomes.”

Waynesburg University Provost Dana Baer made her own statement on the impact that McClung left on her, noting his, “strategic thinking” as one of the qualities she remembers him most for.

     “One of the things that I shared at the faculty meeting last week is that Dr. McClung was never shy about asking questions at Department Chairs’ meetings.  He had keen insight into problem-solving and was a strategic thinker.  Typically, his questions were one or two steps ahead of me, and I appreciated that. “

An individual who worked in the Department of Business and Administration along with McClung is Associate Professor William Stough, who during his time speaking on McClung’s legacy praised him as a, “mentor” since beginning his journey at Waynesburg in 2015.

     “When I was hired, he was the department chair I worked for, so we interacted on a daily basis. He actually was a really good mentor to all of us here in the department. He helped me learn how to teach, because I am not a teacher. I come out of the business environment for 30 years, and he helped me learn how to teach, which was a transition time, but he helped me work my way through there.” Stough said, while emphasizing what he saw as McClung’s greatest trait as an educator, “The students knew he was challenging, and that’s what he was doing. He was trying to push them beyond their comfort zone, which is what we all try to do, it’s part of what he taught me about. Push them beyond where they are, because they can go. They’re afraid to go, but they can go.”

     Ashley Clark, an alumnus of Waynesburg University and former advisee of McClung, touched upon what her former advisor and professor has done to lead her to where she is in her vocation, and as Stough said, the ways that his challenging approach to teaching has benefited her in life. 

     “Dr. McClung was my professor, advisor, Business Advisory Board Chair, and dear friend. During my time at Waynesburg, and even after graduation, he remained on the lookout for new opportunities (internships, speaking opportunities, the Business Board, etc.) He challenged me in my studies and offered different angles/solutions to problems. He has always focused on how current business evolves and how to relate that back to educating students to equip them with the best set of skills to succeed. He was instrumental to my time at Waynesburg and has equipped me to succeed in my career currently at Dick’s Sporting Goods. He will be missed greatly but his impact will live on.”