University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Remembering James F. Vivian

James F. Vivian

James F. Vivian

James (Jim) Vivian, professor emeritus of history, passed away Nov. 6, during a brief stay in the Hospice of Arizona in Sun City West.  He was 77.

He was born to Lester and Erna Vivian on Aug. 25, 1934 in Phoenix, Ariz. After high school, Jim spent 1956 to 1961 in the U.S. Army, where he served in Korea.  He earned his bachelor's degree from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1960, his master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1964 and his doctoral degree from the American University, Washington D.C., in 1971.

While working on his doctorate, Jim taught high school, was an instructor at a junior college and worked as an archivist for the National Archives and Records Service in Washington, D.C. After completing his degree, he taught for two years as assistant professor in history at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, before joining the UND History faculty in the fall of 1973. It was a mark of Jim's scholarly achievement that he was brought to UND as an associate---rather than an assistant---professor. He became a full professor in 1981 and retired as Professor Emeritus of History in 1999. His dry sense of humor, quiet charm and encouragement to his students made him a memorable teacher and supportive mentor.

Among Jim's many early awards and honors is an award for Distinguished Service from the National Archives and Records Service in 1970. During his career, Jim gave examples of what would be a prolific and productive archival research writing of historical evidence by publishing articles in journals, such as Diplomatic History, American Nepture, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Church History, The Americas, Nebraska History and North Dakota History. During his retirement in the Sun Cities, Ariz., he has contributed articles to Journal of the West, Journal of Arizona History, Theodore Roosevelt Association Journal and Days Past columns in newspapers. His books include The Romance of My Life: Theodore Roosevelt's Speeches in North Dakota, published by Harold Schafer and the Medora Foundation for the ND Centennial Commission project of the 100th anniversary of statehood; William Howard Taft; Collected Editorials, 1917-1921 and The President's Salary; A study in Constitutional Declension, 1781-1990.

He leaves behind his beloved wife, Diane; sons Daniel Vivian and Bradford Vivian; his sister Janet (Robert) Aaberg; aunt Vivian Machen; mother-in-law Clara Tenpas; brothers and sisters-in-law; cousins; nieces; nephews and great nieces and nephews.

His legacy will live on in the hearts of those who knew him and with those who love him.

At his request there will be no service; instead please donate to a charity of your choice in his name. Condolences can be made at www.sunlandmemorial.com. Arrangements entrusted to Sunland Mortuary, Sun City, AZ.

-- Courtesy of the Grand Forks Herald.


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