In Remembrance: James Russell Noland Jr. ’48BD Died on August 2 2017

James Russell Noland Jr., 93, passed away on August 2, 2017. 

Mr. Noland had lived since 1955 in Houston, where he moved to become executive director of Protestant Charities, a United Fund Agency. During his lifetime, Mr. Noland served on the faculties of eight universities in the fields of history, sociology, education, and organizational behavior. As a professor at the University of St. Thomas and director of the Institute for School Desegregation, he was a leader in desegregating Houston schools and sponsored training for school faculty and staff within a 100-mile radius of the city.

Active in many community organizations, Mr. Noland was particularly proud that he was President of the Houston Ministerial Association when that organization invited Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy to meet with regional clergy and give their views on the separation of church and state. Only Kennedy accepted. His address was televised to a national audience.

Mr. Noland was a presidential history aficionado and could beat anyone at a game of checkers or ping pong. He was admiring of Charles Darwin and spent the last ten years of his life working on a book relating physics to the science of personality. His major interest as a behavioral scientist was to show that the world of science was the world created by God, who designed the universe in such a way that it could be explained by the laws of nature—physics, biology, and psychology.

Mr. Noland treasured his time at Yale and saved many of his professors' lecture transcripts. The 12th verse of Psalm 90 was the guiding principle of his life: "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

—Submitted by the family.

Note:  The BD (bachelor of divinity) degree in 1948 is equivalent to today’s MDiv (master of divinity) degree.

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