Skip to main content

James E. Perdue Papers

Identifier: M439


James E. Perdue was a professor, dean, and acting director for the University of Denver College of Arts and Letters as well as the Social Science Foundation. This collection includes speeches and papers created by him and relating to education and his life.


  • 1965

Biographical / Historical

James Everett Perdue was born June 24, 1916 in Auburn, Missouri (d.1998). He grew up in Union, Nebraska and at 16 years old, attended college at Nebraska Wesleyan University. In spring 1933, he transferred to Peru State Teachers College due to the lack of tuition money in the face of the Great Depression. In 1937, he graduated with a degree in History. Afterwards, he accepted a high school teaching position in DeWitt. The superintendent invited him to attend a graduate program at the Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, Colorado. Shortly thereafter, he accepted a position teaching in Fort Morgan and in 1939, married Raedeen Tibbett. Years later, they moved to Lincoln, Nebraska as James recieved a position as a salesman for Row Peterson. During this time, Raedeen gave birth to Pamela Jane. In 1942, to avoid the draft, James enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After completing basic training in Tucson, Arizona, althogether they moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1943 so he could complete communications training. In 1944, they moved to New York City in order for James to meet with a Port Director to receive orders. April of that year, James got his orders to board the SS Samuel Livermore in Norfolk, Virginia, which was heading for Italy. The convoy suffered from numerous attacks before arriving in Bari. Shortly thereafter, the SS Samuel Livermore was allowed to sail back to New York City, where Raedeen met him during his 72 hour leave. During leave, NYC was alive with new of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. Next, James got his orders to board the San Juan Hill for England. The mission was short, as they were carrying gas to help troops refuel, and soon he was back in New York City. Again, he attended special schooling to become a Merchant Ship Communications Officer and was ordered San Francisco to sail for Hollandia, New Guinea. On the way, he stopped in Fort Morgan, Colorado to visit his family and Oakland, California to visit his parents. In New Guinea, James developed Jungle Rot, was sent to Leyete, and finally proceeding to invade Cebu with troops. After some time, he was stationed at San Fernando la Union, Luzon. During this time, both atom bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After Japan surrender, James was assigned a position to send troops in the area back to the U.S.. December 1945, James boarded a ship for Long Beach, California and spent that christmas with his parents. In 1946, James moved back to Fort Morgan with his family and resumed working at Row Peterson. Within a week, he was in a serious car accident which caused discs in his vertebrae to slip, threatening nerves that controlled the use of his arms. Around this time he had conversations with a colleague who worked at the University of Denver and, with support from Raedeen, decided to pursue teaching again. They moved to Denver and he became an Assistant Professor of Social Science, teaching freshmen social science classes. Spring 1947, he was promoted to Assistant Dean of Social Sciences. During 1948-1949, James was accepted to Stanford to complete a PhD. He delayed going because Raedeen was pregnant, and they wanted to wait until after the second baby was born for him to leave again. That December, Raedeen gave birth to Darcy Clare. Upon return, he became the University Budget Officer, Assistant to the Chancellor, and then Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences as well as Professor of Social Sciences. Throughout the 1950's, James would continue to navigate the politics of becoming Dean as well as his appointment to the National Board of Directors. In late 1964, James accepted a position as President at the State University of New York at Oswego. He, Raedeen, and Darcy went on a tour of Europe during his 5 month leave from the presidency in 1972. James took a study tour in 1976, moving to Albany, NY and was acting as a chancellor of the SUNY system. In 1982, James became the acting Vice President at Oswego, just before retiring in Fort Morgan, Colorado. He moved to Jonesboro, AKArkansas in order to do consulting work as Dean at Arkansas State University.


.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one (1) series containing speeches and an autobiography.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428