Jim died on October 3, 2016. He was the son of Raymond Hightower, who was a professor of sociology and dean at Kalamazoo College and a Kalamazoo City Commissioner and Mayor. Jim’s mother, Jeanne Matthews Hightower, was an elementary school teacher and reading specialist. Academics were central in the family that included three boys, all of whom graduated from K.
At K Jim majored in economics. He met his future wife, Sharon Wiley ’59, the first day of classes. They married in 1957 and moved to California in 1959. Both Jim and Sharon received degrees from Claremont Graduate University. Jim earned a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics. He taught at the University of Richmond for three years and, in 1969, began his 35-year career in the California State University system, which included teaching and administrative positions at CSU-Fullerton and in the CSU Chancellor’s Office. He is survived by Sharon, his wife of 59 years, their son, daughter-in-law and grandaughter, among other family members.