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Memorial Service Remembers Photographer Michael Krouskop

Endowed scholarship created to honor longtime University Photographer

Michael Krouskop
Michael Krouskop

University Photographer Michael Krouskop, a Belmont employee for more than 11 years, passed away Saturday evening at Vanderbilt University Medical Center following a 10-month battle with T-cell lymphoma. A memorial service to celebrate Michael’s life was held Wednesday morning, October 17, at Belmont University’s Troutt Theater.

Greg Pillon, the director of communications at Belmont and Michael’s supervisor, said, “We were truly blessed to have a talent like Michael Krouskop as part of our Belmont family. Michael was an amazing artist whose photos captured the untold stories of our students and university accomplishments. Michael loved Belmont, and we loved him. His legacy will live on forever in our hearts through his amazing images he has left us.”

As Michael noted on his website, “I love challenges, and more than that, I love capturing a story with my photography.” During his 51 years, Michael captured countless stories through his camera lens and translated them in a way that only a photographer of immense talent could do. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Michael began his career as a TV news photographer in Charleston, South Carolina, winning an Emmy Award and the Dupont-Columbia Award. He was also named the Best News Photographer in the Southeastern United States by the National Association for Professional Journalists. 

Tired of focusing on images of “crime and disaster,” Michael transitioned his work into the motion picture industry, bringing his journalistic style to shoot behind-the-scene videos for MGM, HBO Films and ABC television. He worked on several music videos, documentaries and short films as a cinematographer, lighting designer and as a still photographer. He then focused on still photography garnering a client list that included Microsoft Learning, McDonalds Corporation, HCA, the U.S. Army and AT&T, among others.  His photographs were featured in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, People, Harper’s Bazaar, Southern Living and many other publications. He was also nominated for a 2004 Dove Award for his photography work on The Fisk Jubilee Singers CD In Bright Mansions.

Since 2001, Michael served as the University Photographer for Belmont University while also conducting his own successful wedding photography business. The consummate visual storyteller, Michael won numerous awards during his time at Belmont for photography that appeared in the University’s Circle magazine and annual President’s Report.

As a wedding and commercial photographer, Michael’s work was equally appreciated, drawing consistent rave reviews from his clients. One bride noted, “Michael was the ideal wedding photographer and a true artist behind the lens,” while another client commented, “his professionalism, patience, flexibility and talent cannot be matched.”

John Michael Krouskop was born to Eralynn and John Krouskop in Columbus, Ohio on Dec. 29, 1960.  He is survived by his mother Eralynn Wolken, son Jacob Krouskop, sisters Cindy Jones and Heidi Steklis, mother of his son Chelsea Kloepfel, and step daughter Mira Kloepfel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or to an endowed scholarship in Michael’s name at Belmont University. Contact the Office of Development for more information.

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