Former Social Science Division Chair dies at age 58

Dr. James Meader, 58, former Chair of the Social Science Division at Augustana College, died May 24, 2009, at his home in Sioux Falls.

He taught in the Government and International Affairs Department from 1977 to 2003. He was also a key contributor to the planning of the new Madsen Social Science Building.

Dr. Meader was well-known for his applied research and was well-recognized political analyst with the local media. A study conducted by Dr. Meader and Dr. John Bart, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Augustana, on South Dakota’s U.S. Senate Race in 2002 was presented to the National Press Club. The two educators spent several months following numerous aspects of the races and documenting trends. The election was unique to South Dakota history, garnering international attention.

Dr. Meader was born August 15, 1950, in Joliet, Illinois. He received his BA from Knox College in 1972. He received his MA in 1975 and his PhD in 1977, both from Tulane University.

Two of his closest associates at Augustana were Drs. Peter Schotten and Joe Dondelinger, both Professors of Government and International Affairs.

“He was an esteemed colleague, a fine teacher, and a friend,” said Dr. Schotten, “He made a positive difference during his time at Augustana and he will be missed.”

“Jim was a wonderful colleague, and his collegiality was one of the reasons I decided to stay at Augustana College,” said Dr. Dondelinger. “For that, I will always be grateful to him.”

In addition to his passion for teaching, Dr. Meader loved baseball. He played amateur baseball, was active in the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association, the Sioux Empire Baseball Association, and high school baseball.

Survivors include his two sons, Jarod and Joe, both of Sioux Falls; his father, Emil, of Lockport, Illinois; his sister, Kathy (David) Bennett, of Lincroft, NJ; and his former wife, Gail Fodness Meader-Graber, of Sioux Falls.

A memorial service was held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, May 28, at the Chapel of Reconciliation on the Augustana campus.  The family requests memorials be directed to the Meader Scholarship at Augustana.

David Kranz, columnist at Argus Leader, reflects on his experiences with Dr. Meader.


Bruce Conley
Director, News Information
Phone: 605.274.5526
Fax: 605.274.4903
bruce.conley@augie.edu