In Memoriam: Professor James Davidson, PhD


LUM Dream Team Member – Jim Davidson

James (Jim) D. Davidson, Jr., 79, passed away on May 22. Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Fairfield University (Connecticut); and a master’s degree and PhD at the University of Notre Dame. He was Professor of Sociology at Purdue University from 1968 until he retired in 2009. Jim had a very productive and fulfilling career. His research focused on religion and social inequality.

With Ron Elly, the first LUM executive director (1972-1977); Tom Hull, LUM Board president (1976, 1978), and Don Nead, Jim played a leadership role in the survival, stability, and success of the Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM). They collaborated on and published The Lafayette Urban Ministry: A Model for Urban Ministries and an Evaluation of LUM (AKA the Green Book). His research on changes in the Catholic Church and trends among American Catholics was considered exemplary and received numerous awards. Jim was a popular keynote speaker at gatherings of religious educators and church leaders.

Professor Davidson was a dedicated friend to LUM for 50 years and recently attended the LUM 50th Anniversary Celebration in April. He will be missed for his friendship, sage advice, and compassionate counsel. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you make a donation to Lafayette Urban Ministry or to a local charity of your choosing.


Jim & Anna Tassone were married in 1971. They were resident parishioners at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center at Purdue. Jim & Anna had two children: Jay (wife Corina) Davidson of Chicago, IL and their two daughters (Lucy & Evelyn) and Terry Davidson of Denver, CO and her two sons (Brady & Anthony). Jim was very proud of both Jay and Terry; and Jim & Anna have loved all four of their grandchildren, visiting and vacationing with them as often as possible.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow (6/10) at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center, 535 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN. To read the full obituary, click HERE.

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