Photo courtesy of Memory Chapel Funeral Home

James Morris Salem

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Nov 15, 1937 – Jul 6, 2012


Monday, November 15th 1937
Friday, July 6th 2012
University of Illinois


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Dear Donna and Family,

I learned of your loss just yesterday when I read the piece about Jim in Collegian. I am much saddened by Jim's unexpected passing and, though it comes late, I wanted to send you my sincere condolences.

I met Jim at the Capstone in 1972. I had reached the point of selecting a dissertation topic in the English Department and wanted to do something on Ibsen. Unfortunately, no one in my department had any Ibsen background, but Dwight Eddins...

Dear Donna...How sad I was to read of Jim's passing.Though I was two years ahead of Jim in high school, we shared two years of a small-enrollment Spanish class. He was a delight...so cute and funny, and I grew very fond of him. I have, through the years, been aware of his distinguished career, and I know that he will be deeply missed by his former students and colleagues.

Hopefully the esteem in which he is held will help you to achieve comfort in these difficult days.

That Jim will be missed is the sad feeling shared by so many of us who knew him during his many years at Alabama. I first met Jim over a beer at his house, during my job interview in 1975. That conversation, its warmth and welcoming quality, is still in my mind. Over the years, the department had its ups and downs, but Jim took over as director during one of the latter periods and brought us together, creating an atmosphere of collaboration, trust, and mutual support that enabled the...

Dr. Salem is the reason I went to Alabama and I can't imagine the trajectory of my life without that decision. He was always easy to talk to, quick with a laugh, and I'll never forget our many discussions of The Beatles in his office. Great guy, he will be missed. And while this may not be gender appropriate, I'm sure he'd understand. "Bye bye, Miss American Pie."

:Dear Donna, I want to express my sympathy to you and your family upon Jim's death - I am still stunned. Jim and I became friends somewhere around 4th grade when we would meet in Phoenix Park and participate in Mr. Gallo's summer programs. I can't forget the close friendship we had in those wonderful years we spent together in classrooms and being on the DHS football, basketball and baseball teams for three years, and with you in the picture too. I'll never forget the weeks and weeks he...

Seeing Dr. Salem's 1958 high school graduation photo on this site reminded me there was a generation gap (or two) between us. But he closed that gap! True, he treated me somewhat in a "fatherly" manner at times, yet never made me feel inferior, foolish or "like a kid." In fact, he was a hippie like us! If he'd been Southern, he would have made "a good old boy." Not many professors of his caliber are as nice, sweet and positive as Dr. Salem was. So...

Hi Donna....Soooo Sorry to hear of Jim's passing....prayers for you and the family....have so many fond memories of him through all our years of growing up in Delavan...of our fun times together and being in each other's wedding. We all thought of you at our Class Reunion a couple weeks ago...wished you could have been there....

Donna, you won't remember me, but I graduated from New College in 1974 and was the first MA grad from the Am Studies program in 75. Jim was one of my inspirations to become a faculty member and just last week I retired as a Professor from the medical school at UC San Francisco. When I am asked how someone with a PhD in AM Studies can have a career in medicine, I repeat something I learned from Jim and never forgot, "If you can understand the culture of a thing, person or place you...