Features

DSU Alum Michael Feeney Dies Sunday

By: Jasmine Saunders

Michael Feeney, (DSU, ’05) died from cardiac arrest Sunday at the Holy Name Medical Center in his hometown of Teaneck, New Jersey.

Feeney was ill with a staph infection in his kidneys; he was 32 years old.

He was a former writer for the New York Daily News, The Record in Bergen, New Jersey, and the Associated Press.

He had a job waiting for him at CNN.com in Atlanta.

From 2011-15, Feeney was the chapter president of the New York chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

In 2010, he received the NABJ “Emerging Journalist of the Year” award.

On his last day as the chapter president, he signed-off with an upbeat Facebook post on December 31st, 2015:

 

Feeney graduated from Delaware State University with a degree in mass communications and print journalism.

He was always looking to improve and develop himself; he joined the university chapter of NABJ and became its president and he was a writer for the campus newspaper, The Hornet, and soon became the Editor-in-Chief.

“[Michael] did not waste his time here,” commented Carlos Holmes, the university’s Director of News Services as well as the former advisor for the newspaper when Feeney joined.

Mr. Holmes spoke highly of Feeney, saying that he used every opportunity he was granted to hone his craft; opportunities like participating in Dewayne Wickham’s –a columnist from USA Today and former professor at DSU— journalism boot camp.

“I watched him blossom.”

From his start at Delaware State, it was apparent that Feeney had a knack for the field.

Dr. Asgede Hagos, a professor in the Mass Communications department remembers him from his freshmen year in his class because of the “outstanding” impression he made.

“He had a bright, bright future ahead of him,” he shared.

The praises don’t just stop there; Dr. Marcia Taylor an assistant professor of Mass Communications and current advisor for the newspaper was “shocked” to hear the news.

“Michael Feeney was one of the DSU Mass Communications Department’s best and brightest stars.”

Throughout his career as a journalist, he has reached out and helped fellow peers and was a big believer in giving back to his community.

In 2014, he attended Convocation as an honored guest and speaker.

A fund for his family has been started to raise $20,000; to donate to the Michael J. Feeney Memorial Fund, click here.

According to NJ.com, he is survived by his mother Reba Willis, his twin brother Anthony Feeney, his sister Maria Feeney and a niece and nephew.

 

UPDATE: There will be two funeral services in New Jersey and New York:

Monday, February 8th, there will be a service at First Corinthian Baptist Church: 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, New York, NY 10026 (Formally Seventh Avenue) and 116th Street. Viewing will be from 9-11 AM; funeral services will immediately follow.

Tuesday, February 9th, there will be a Homegoing service held at Community Baptist Church: 224 First St, Englewood, NJ 07631. The viewing is from 4-6 PM; funeral service will immediately follow.

 

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