University of Wisconsin journalism professor James Baughman died Saturday morning of lung cancer at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, according to an email from the School of Journalism.
Baughman was 64 years old and was an instructor at UW since 1979, most recently teaching courses through the School of Journalism in history of mass communication, creative nonfiction and literary journalism. A specialist in the history of American journalism, Baughman was also involved in the UW History Department.
As an educator committed to both his areas of study and his students, Baughman continued teaching his two journalism classes this semester up until the day he entered the hospital a little more than two weeks ago.
Baughman’s commitment to students extended beyond the classroom, he also previously served as an advisor to The Badger Herald Board of Directors.
On Wednesday, Mayor Paul Soglin proclaimed Saturday March 26, 2016 as James Baughman Day in Madison for “the love and intellectual passion he has inspired in his current and former students, and for his contributions to scholarship, history, journalism and education,” according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Baughman, an Ohio native, could always be found roaming around the fifth floor of Vilas Hall offering journalism students career advice, Ohio chocolate, book and newspaper suggestions and offhand bits of humor on topics ranging from cat care to 17th century American history. His sense of humor, scholarship, dedication to all of his students and overall presence will be missed.
Current and former students as well as colleagues shared memories of Baughman on Twitter.
"When I was reading, I suddenly became your father." #Baughman was an incredible writing mentor. RIP.
— Alex Arriaga (@aarriagalex) March 26, 2016
Thanks for reminding me that "you can make it as a writer if you want to, kid." You will be missed. #baughman
— Emma Palasz (@EmmaPalasz) March 26, 2016
Got to spend some time with Prof #Baughman in Hist 600 Baseball and Society last semester. What an incredible spirit. Lucky to have met him.
— Austin Scher (@Austin_Scher) March 26, 2016
— Ian McCue (@imccue) March 26, 2016
I learned so much from Professor #baughman – but will miss his wit and deep warmth and humanity most of all. And the impressions, of course.
— Zach Goldberg (@zgoldberg) March 26, 2016
Jim Baughman: Gifted historian, world-class teacher, generous colleague, good man, kindly bartender. Rest in peace, my friend. #baughman
— Mike Wagner (@prowag) March 26, 2016
— Kyle Deckelbaum (@KyleDeckelbaum7) March 26, 2016
— Joe Ziemer (@JoeZLT) March 26, 2016
Jim #Baughman was a model teacher, administrator, & scholar. Never sacrificed analytical rigor for clear, stylistic writing. Amazing.
— Michael Socolow (@MichaelSocolow) March 26, 2016
Journalism school adviser Robert Schwoch and other journalism professors are available as resources for any students.
Remembering Prof. Jim Baughman: Share a memory, anecdote or noteUniversity of Wisconsin journalism professor James Baughman left a personal impact on his students, colleagues and community. At 64 years old, Read…
The memorial service for Baughman will be held Friday, April 8 at 2 p.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church on 944 E. Gorham St.