Taught 2 Generations at SDSU : James Julian, Influential in Journalism, Dead at 72


James L. Julian, a professor emeritus at San Diego State University who influenced the careers of two generations of San Diego journalists, died Saturday. He was 72.

He was a journalism professor at SDSU for 25 years and served as chairman of the journalism department for 13 of those years.

Julian was instrumental in the development of scholarships for journalism students and devoted much of his time to the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.


In 1975, he was awarded the Wells Memorial Key, Sigma Delta Chi’s highest honor, for his service to the organization.

He was born in Houston. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston in 1938 and his master’s degree from the University of Texas in 1940. In 1956, he earned a doctorate in journalism from the University of Iowa.

In 1950, Julian joined the administrative staff of what was then San Diego State College. He taught journalism from 1951 until he retired in 1976.

Many journalists working for newspapers and other media in San Diego County had Julian as a teacher.

“Jim has had a large influence on the people that went through the journalism program,” said Barbara Hartung, chairwoman of SDSU’s journalism department who was a student of Julian’s in the mid-1950s.

“He was very strict and demanded a lot from you,” she said. “Hundreds of graduates of San Diego State remember him fondly.”

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Joanne, who lives in La Mesa; three children, James of Houston; Keith of Pacific Palisades, and Nancy Black of La Mesa, and seven grandchildren.

There will be no services. The local chapter of Sigma Delta Chi is accepting donations for a scholarship in his memory.