The Art Department is saddened by the passing of Robert McCullough, Associate Professor of graphic design on Monday, July 13. A full-time faculty member in the art department since 1980, he developed the department’s emphasis in graphic design in 1988. Professor McCullough left a successful, award-winning advertising agency in the Hampton Roads region to join the faculty, first as a professor of painting. After developing the graphic design program, he helped manage its growth in the years that followed.
“His desire to interact with students and other scholarly professionals, rather than convincing the public of the merits of the various businesses that hired his crew over several years, caused him to take this unusual step for a designer, which is lucrative — in a very practical way,” says Art Department chair Linda McGreevy . “But, Robert, like many of his generation, was idealistic and truly wanted to make a difference in the lives of those who would go on to convince the public of the merits of products and services as their own careers developed.
“Demanding, intense and entirely dedicated to his field, he made a big difference for many — some of whom … would only realize his significance later. The faculty, current and emeriti, full-time and adjunct, are realizing our loss now, and it is with heavy hearts that we bid him adieu,” McGreevy added.
Professor McCullough’s work both in fine arts and design has been exhibited nationally and in Europe, including the U.S. Department of State World Trade Show in Greece, Turkey and Israel; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Eastern Washington University, Cheney Wash.; and Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif. He also exhibited his work locally at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia in Virginia Beach, the Visual Arts Center in Portsmouth and the Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News.
Professor McCullough earned a B.F.A. degree from ODU in 1971 and an M.F.A. in design from Syracuse University in 1978. He is survived by his wife, Harriet McCullough, an adjunct assistant professor of graphic design at ODU with whom he maintained M&M, a small design agency, and a daughter and stepdaughter.
Arrangements for a memorial service are pending.