Wilson High School Alumni
Portland, Oregon


James Doig Anderson "Jim" graduated from Wilson in 1959. He was born in Caldwell, Idaho, in 1940 along with his twin sister Peggy, who also graduated from Wilson. Jim is the only sibling who didn’t return to his hometown of Portland, where they moved in 1948, when his Dad moved from the College of Idaho to Lewis and Clark College in Portland. Jim was Junior Class President at Wilson and remembers running against Art Morey for Student Body President. "He won; we both went to Harvard," adds Jim. He was in band for four years, along with his sister Peggy, and played the piano solo for Gershwin's Rapsody in Blue. For college Jim headed to the East Coast and Harvard. His graduate degrees are from Columbia University. Jim’s first job as a librarian was in Sitka, Alaska, the old Russian capital. After getting his doctorate, Jim taught at St. Johns University and Queens College (City University of New York) in Queens NYC.

Jim came to Rutgers in 1977 as assistant professor, becoming associate professor in 1979, associate dean in 1983, and professor in 1984. He returned to full-time research and teaching in 1997. His field is information retrieval (IR) and the design of IR databases, with special emphasis on knowledge representation methods (human and machine), browsable displayed indexes (alphabetical and faceted/classified) and terminological thesauri for mapping and managing diverse vocabularies of information seekers.

During 1979-1981, Jim headed the design team for a completely new international bibliography and IR database for the Modern Language Association of America, resulting in the CIFT system (Contextual Indexing and Faceted Taxonomy). In 1985-86 he led a similar project for a history of art and architecture database, jointly sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Jim chaired the National Information Standards Organization committee to revise the United States standard for indexes and related information retrieval devices, 1991-1997.

In 1984, Jim was named one of 400 leading activists in the gay and lesbian liberation movement in the U.S. by The Advocate, a national gay magazine. From 1980 to 1998, Jim served as the national communications secretary for Presbyterians for Lesbian & Gay Concerns (PLGC) and the editor and publisher of its journal More Light Update. PLGC became More Light Presbyterians (MLP) in 1999. Jim continued as editor of the More Light Update through 2003 and served on the MLP Board through 2001, where they battled to remove all the anti-LGBT apartheid provisions in the church constitution and policies. After decades of fighting, they finally reached their goal in 2011.

At Rutgers, Jim chaired the President's Select Committee for Lesbian and Gay Concerns. He was also chair (1990-1994) of the Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes, the university-wide effort to help the university community celebrate its diversity and its common purposes and to do away with all forms of prejudice, bigotry, unjust discrimination, and harassment. In 1991, Rutgers president Francis L. Lawrence presented Jim with a university public service award "in recognition for your more than a decade of work to educate and encourage your University and the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), to accord to Lesbian and Gay people the same rights and responsibilities enjoyed by all other citizens."

Jim is now teaching again for Rutgers, but this time online, Cataloging and Classification for their masters degree program in library and information science. Jim and his life partner Rafael have been together since 1971. They recently returned from a wonderful month in Spain. Jim also takes time to be the co-coordinator of the Crime Watch team for his condominium complex.

Check out Jim on his 1974 Peugeot bike.