Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Beloved Southeast professor passes away after brief illness

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
C.P. Gause
University Photo

The Southeast community lost an integral member of not only its education program but the university culture with the passing of C.P. Gause on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

“Those who knew C.P can testify that he was masterful in his ability to inform, entertain, mentor, cajole and read you, sometimes all within a single meeting,” Professor of Mass Media and Black Faculty Staff Alliance faculty co-chair Tamara Zellars Buck said. “His smile was as warm as his hugs, and his personality was as big as his heart. We grieve his passing even as we celebrate the life he shared with us during his tenure here at Southeast.”

Gause served as the chair of the Department of Leadership, Middle and Secondary Education and a professor of educational leadership, and was with Southeast since January 2015.

Some may remember him as the May 2018 commencement speaker for the afternoon address. Gause has served as a commencement reader for the past several years, according to Southeast President Carlos Vargas.

In his brief time at Southeast, Gause made a lasting impact at the university. He served as a member of the Academic Appeals Committee and of the Chairpersons Forum. His efforts at the university earned him the Professional Growth Award from Southeast’s former College of Education in 2016-17.

“[Gause] believed in the transformational power of teaching and learning and was committed to creating engaging, dynamic and equitable learning communities, for all, locally and globally,” Vargas stated in a press release to employees Wednesday morning.

Gause’s success was not only in the classroom, as he was an internationally recognized award-winning author, teacher, scholar, motivational speaker and poet. Minority Access Inc. awarded Gause the National Faculty Mentor Role Model of the Year Award in 2009 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Gause also founded and was the editor of the Journal of Black Masculinity. One of several books he authored was “Black Masculinity in America: Can I Get a Witness?”

“His professional service was inspiring, as was his dedication to being a teacher and a scholar,” Buck said. “I am sure many of us will use his as a model for our careers, and I am thankful for the time we shared.”

Counseling services are available to Southeast students by contacting Counseling and Disability Services at (573) 986-6191 or at

Human Resources will arrange for on-site group and individual counseling through the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) benefit to offer additional support to faculty and staff.