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Retirees Association

In Memory of James M. Hughes, by Chuck Taylor

Jim HughesJames M. Hughes was born in Columbus, Ohio, on November 15, 1938, and died peacefully on November 7, 2020.  Jim grew up in Washington, D.C., where he graduated from the Sidwell Friends School. He completed a B.A. in English, magna cum laude at Harvard University and a Ph.D. in American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1964 Jim chose to become a founding member of the faculty building a new university that became Wright State. His legacy at Wright State is filled with diverse achievements, above all his extraordinary teaching admired and appreciated by students and faculty-staff colleagues.  The university as a whole recognized his remarkable achievement in the classroom by naming him Robert J. Kegerreis Distinguished Professor of Teaching in 1991.

Memories of Jim touch our deepest values, the love of learning and a devotion to helping students become better learners.  Jim and I taught a course, “The James Brothers.”  From the start Jim was completely focused on learning more from William, the philosopher-psychologist some say was the better writer of the two.  I happily took up the exploration of Henry who might have been the better psychologist.  He loved the works of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson and always had great openness to new things. 

I can hear his laugh, and that is how I remember this most joyful of friends.

Chuck Taylor
Dean and Professor of Philosophy Emeritus