The College of Liberal Arts and the Department of History pay tribute to Jim Hulse, the Grace A. Griffen Endowed Chair in American History Professor Emeritus, who recently passed away on May 9, 2023.
Hulse was an outstanding scholar and teacher who first joined the department as a graduate student in its Master of Arts program in the 1950s. After earning a Ph.D. in Russian history from Stanford University, he returned to Reno to take a position as an assistant professor of history at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1962. He served the University for 35 years, teaching courses in Nevada history as well as European history and publishing numerous books and articles covering an unusually broad range of topics.
His scholarly endeavors reflected his enormous intellectual curiosity and included works on Soviet revolutionaries, the Greek philosopher Socrates, and several studies examining the history, politics and culture of his home state, Nevada.
Along with holding the Grace A. Griffen Chair in History, he was a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 1996. A plaque honoring his contributions to the Department of History adorns its administrative offices in Lincoln Hall, the former dormitory where Hulse once lived as a student.
Students and colleagues remember Hulse as a warm and generous presence in the department and in the community.
“He was a scholar who with a soft hand kept us students on track,” Koen Lagae, a former student of Hulse, recalled. “The University of Nevada, Reno and especially Jim Hulse made me into the historian that I still am today.”
Outside the University, Hulse was active in numerous civic organizations working to enhance democracy and social justice. He was the guiding force for a group of transplanted faculty and other new residents seeking to make a home for themselves in Reno in the 1970s, and he initiated the formation of the History Club, which brought local history enthusiasts together to learn from University faculty and each other.
Upon his retirement, friends in the community established the Professor James Hulse Scholarship in History in his honor. This scholarship benefits several undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in history each year and is one of the few scholarships that are available to part-time as well as full-time students.
“We are grateful for Professor Hulse’s contributions to our scholarly community, and he will be greatly missed,” Greta de Jong, chair of the Department of History, said.