Students, faculty mourn passing of USF St. Pete professor

12:30 AM, Oct 21, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Dozens of people gathered at the USF St. Pete campus waterfront just before sunset on Sunday to remember associate professor Robert Dardenne.

The medical examiner's office is trying to figure out why he passed away at his home on Friday.

A few dozen current and former USF students, along with members of the faculty for the journalism department, attended the gathering.

"I always wanted to be a reporter and go into journalism and stuff, and so my dad would always talk about Dardenne," said friend Tara McCarty.

While you may not know Dardenne, he inspired many young professionals who continue live and work all across the Bay area.

"An experienced journalist and dedicated teacher, Dr. Dardenne was beloved by his students and colleagues and admired by all who knew him during his 22 years at USF St. Petersburg," said a statement from Sophia Wisnkiewska, Ph.D., regional chancellor for USF St. Petersburg. "Our thoughts are with his wife, Barbara O'Reilley, and son, Rob, a spring 2013 history graduate of USF St. Petersburg."

Those who attended the impromptu event, that was organized on Facebook, took a shot of bourbon, which was said to be Dardenne's favorite drink.

Friends and family will gather to celebrate the life of Dr. Dardenne on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the courtyard of the Peter Rudy Wallace Center for Teachers, where the journalism department is located.

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