In Memoriam

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Don W. James ’50

A picture of Don James

Don W. James ’50, October 22, 2005, in Portland. Don entered Reed as a college junior, utilizing the G.I. Bill to earn a BA in education. He continued his stucies at the University of Oregon, from which he received an MEd in 1954, and later earned an EdD from the University of Portland in 1968. James had a "satisfying" 32-year career with the Portland Public Schools, for which he was a teacher, vice principal, principal, directory of secondary education, and area superintendent. His professional positions included serving as president of the Portland Division of Oregon Education Association (OEA); board member of the State OEA; president of the Oregon Association of Secondary School Principals; chair of the curriculum commission for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and book reviewer for the association bulletin. From 1974 to 1982, James represented Oregon on the schools commission of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. He was member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; the National Education Association; and the Rotary Club of East Portland, for which he was president. He worked for "liberal-moderate" candidates and issues for the Republican Party; and also in nonpartisan efforts, including those in the Mount Hood corridor, to impede inappropriate land use, and with the Metropolitan Youth Commission. He identified his primary hobby as helping nature restore a “natural balance” on the land he owned in the Sandy and Zig Zag areas. James once remarked that Reed created an aspect challenge for his entire life-"there is much to learn and much to accomplish"—from a foundation rooted in a singular quality, humanism. He married Claire E. Reynolds in 1945; they had four children. Survivors include his wife, two sons and two daughters, four grandchildren, and a brother and sister.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2006

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