Indiana University Northwest

Professor James B. Lane

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Recent Articles - Remembering Jim Gordon (from the Post-Tribune)

Jim Gordon: Campus Gadfly
by James B. Lane

Jim Gordon loved reminiscing about his undergraduate days at Indiana University Northwest during the mid-1960s. Having been on Horace Mann’s newspaper staff, he received a scholarship from The Post-Tribune for $125 a semester at a time when IU Northwest’s tuition was only $15 a credit hour.

Jim found much intellectual stimulation outside the classroom. As he put it, “I hung out in the student lounge, cutting class whenever I could get away with it. I was exposed to interesting people and talk about politics, economics, and history.”

Jim helped start a group devoted to free speech called the Humanist Club, which sponsored discussions on topics ranging from birth control to black power. Jim recalled, “We literally were gadflies buzzing around the fringes. If there wasn’t a giggle in there somewhere, I wanted no part of it. We got some fun controversies going. We were good at guerrilla theatre.”

In his sophomore year Jim became associate editor of the student newspaper and Student Council president. Two of his closest friends were Marine Corps veterans Don Maroc and Bob Propst. One day they got on the roof of IU Northwest’s lone building and were photographed doing the “Three Monkeys.” Gordon had his hands over his mouth, while Maroc covered his ears and Propst his eyes. As Jim recalled, “We enjoyed a reputation as hell-raisers. But compared to elsewhere, it was hell on a modest scale.”

Jim finished his undergraduate degree in Bloomington but later wished he’d graduated from IU Northwest because, in his words, “that was where I’d had the best educational experience on a lot of different levels” - including developing interests in writing and avant garde films.

While a columnist for The Post-Tribune, Jim taught popular classes at IU Northwest on writing, film, and screenwriting.