Condolence & Memory Journal

Dr. Devlin,
Thank you for all you taught me. You will always be remembered.
As you always said - "Eleganté not elephanté"!

Posted by Joe - BU Metropolitan College, 1994 - Boston, MA - Student   June 24, 2011


Professor Devlin's approach to teaching was unique to say the least. On the first day of class he told us that his class on Marx would probably the hardest we would take at BU. He wasn't saying it out of arrogance or to shock, it was clear that he just didn't see the point in sugar coating the facts. I didn't realize that till later, I can honestly say I thought of withdrawing in the interim day more than once. I'm will forever be glad I didn't.
I remember his lack of surprise when the class was halved by second day from withdraws. I can still picture the grin on his face when he explained that although he still held to what he said the first day, we had showed ourselves to be the elite just by our resolve to stick with it. I realize now that this tactic just eliminated the students who would never have made it through the class.
Professor Devlin ultimately was right about his class, it was the hardest I took at Boston University and it was the class which challenged me the most. But more than that, he taught me what I was capable of.
It's hard to imagine someone so vibrant and full of life no longer being here. However, Dr. Devlin leaves behind a legacy in the students who were privileged enough to have him. I have no fear in contradiction when I say that he was truly one of a kind.

Posted by Ashlyn Lines - Student   November 22, 2010

Jim was a great friend, brilliant instructor and someone I will never forget. My deepest sympathies. We will all miss him greatly.
Melissa Ryan

Posted by Melissa Ryan - Ponte Vedra Beach, FL - Friend/Colleague   November 19, 2010

Prof. Devlin's lecture was one of the most memorable I attended during my time at BU. In the years since, working as an administrator in the office of the Core program he helped to create, I have heard students and faculty so many times express their appreciation of this man. A number of the Core alumni have written to my office to express similar sentiments, which I've collected at

My condolences to the family and friends.

Posted by Zachary Bos - Boston, MA - Student   November 19, 2010


Thank you, Professor Devlin, for being my favorite professor - ever. You may not have realized it at the time, but you are one of the reasons why I did not give up on college during my first semester. I did not fully appreciate the concept of "gnothi seauton" until you became my teacher. I will never forget your kindness, generosity, and absolutely insane (but brilliant) approach to exploring a liberal arts education. Much love always.

Posted by Kimberly Santo - Former Core Student   November 19, 2010