We are saddened to announce that James “Jim” Near, father of longtime history teacher John Near, passed away Oct. 12 in Maui, Hawaii. He was 87 years old.
Jim and his wife, Patricia, established The Harker School’s first endowment, the John Near Excellence in History Education Endowment Fund, in 2009, to honor their son’s teaching career after he passed away in September of that year. Many students and families have since made memorial contributions to the endowment, increasing both the scope and breadth of the research that students honored as Near Scholars have been able to explore each year with their grants from the endowment. Recent research topics have included the impact of the feminist and civil rights movements on the disability rights movement of the 1960s and ’70s, and an in-depth review of news coverage on the Vietnam War and the resulting tension between news media and the federal government.
Jim Near’s generosity and vision will support our students and their teacher mentors in perpetuity, as they explore their interest in history research at The Harker School. The Endowment also funds the continued development of the John Near Resource Center in Shah Hall on the Saratoga campus.
Jim is survived by his granddaughter, Casey Near ’06, and daughter-in-law, Pam Dickinson, Harker’s Office of Communication director, as well as his wife, three sons and daughter. Contributions can be made in Jim’s honor to the John Near Excellence in History Education Endowment Fund by emailing Allison Vaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: Photos include The Mitra Family Endowment for the Humanities scholars as well. Papers produced by endowment scholars are available online.