Time to Celebrate the Life of An Alabama Journalism Student

Today we celebrate the life of University of Alabama Journalism Student William Malnati, who passed away Monday after an illness.

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As an instructor, you always remember those students who speak up and fire away with the tough questions that make you think.

Those in my  Introduction to Journalism class here at the University of Alabama this spring will surely remember William Malnati’s frequent exchanges with me on things such as how I enunciated words, pronounced his name or  provided the specifics of a journalism assignment.

Sadly, I won’t have the opportunity to see Mr. Malnati complete his journalism studies as he passed away Monday after an illness.

William Malnati

Despite his sickness that required hospitalization this semester, this 24-year-old journalism major from Centennial, Colo. did not let that keep him from staying abreast of the current events and up-to-date on his assignments.

He had a passion for his studies and took every assignment very seriously.   I believe he made as much of an impression on me as an instructor as he did on other students in the class.

In my eight years on the journalism faculty here at the University of Alabama, I don’t ever remember losing a student who was currently in one of my classes.

I admire Mr. Malnati for staying focused and fighting this illness to the very end.   His parents can be proud of raising a young man who was on his way to making his mark in the world, even as he pursued his journalism degree.

Today we celebrate the life of this University of Alabama student and remember him for the short time that we had the pleasure of knowing and working with him.

In William Malnati, we saw a true example of perseverance in the face of significant adversity.

I thank God for the privilege of having William Malnati in my class and for the opportunity to cross paths with him this semester.

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

5 thoughts on “Time to Celebrate the Life of An Alabama Journalism Student”

  1. This article is a great representation of my younger brother, William (aka “Billy”). Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your perspective. Billy is going to be sorely missed by his entire family here in Colorado. He loved everything about being a student at the University of Alabama; he was living out his lifelong dream. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

    ~ Kyle Malnati

  2. Dr Daniels,
    Thank you SO MUCH for recognizing our son. I know he would appreciate your kindess and insights into his acadenic efforts. Attending the University of Alabama was always his dream. He left me a voicemail on the eve of his passing, thanking us for allowing him to live his dream.
    We all shall miss him.
    With much appreciation,
    William Malnati, Sr.

  3. This is a wonderful post about a wonderful young man. We will miss him here in Alabama. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

  4. What an inspirational writing on a fine young man. Billy will be truly missed by many. Our heart, thoughts and prayers are with the family.

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