Dr. Gene Wiggins, a professor emeritus in the University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism, died Feb. 21 at his home in Hattiesburg. He was 69.
Wiggins joined the Southern Miss faculty in 1973. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Miss and his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Prior to completing his doctorate, he worked as a professional journalist for the Jackson Daily News and for the Hattiesburg American. He also served as a public information officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was director of the Southern Miss School of Communication from 1981 to 2001. Wiggins also authored numerous publications, including books, book chapters and journal articles in the area of mass communication law. He taught graduate courses in public relations case studies and law, as well as undergraduate courses in media writing and law, and continued to teach a course in media law and ethics after his retirement.