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The University Record
C. James Pilcher, professor emeritus of finance, passed away July 25 at Huron Woods at age 78. Jim was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the son of Clayton and Marjorie Pilcher.
He attended the University of Michigan, where he received his B.B.A., M.B.A. and Ph.D. in finance at the Business School. He served in World War II in 1942–45 in the U.S. Navy Air Force as a Lt. J.G., and was a blimp pilot stationed in South America, the Caribbean and the Panama Canal Zone.
Jim married Jane Scheerer, a childhood friend, in 1946 and moved to New York to work on Wall Street as a financial analyst and counselor. Forever a loyal supporter of the Maize & Blue (he recruited many years for the Athletic Department in all sports), he returned to Ann Arbor a year later to teach finance at the Business School. His love of teaching impacted students locally and internationally.
Business School Dean B. Joseph White said: “Professor Pilcher loved the University of Michigan and was much respected and valued by generations of Business School students. His legacy is the thousands of students to whom he provided a superb education and career guidance in finance.”
White’s thoughts were echoed by David Brophy, associate professor of finance, who said: “Jim was the finest pure teacher of finance that we had during my early years at Michigan, and certainly one of my best friends and favorite colleagues. He put more into teaching and interest in his students than anyone I’ve known, before or since. This is reflected in the outpouring of appreciation and affection for him from his students over the years and the sadness at our collective loss.”
Jim was a director of the Detroit Financial Executive Institute and the American Finance Association, served as director of admissions and assistant dean at the Business School, and was chair of the finance program. He also taught in the School of Banking, Public Utility Executive Development Program and Public Finance Institute at the U-M.
His love of U-M sports led to service on the Board in Control of Athletics.
He served his local community as director and treasurer of Ann Arbor United Way, as a director of the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce and Great Lakes National Bank, as a trustee for the City of Ann Arbor Employees Retirement System.
He was president of Rotary International and a deacon and elder of the First Presbyterian Church.
A graduate scholarship was established in Jim’s honor upon his retirement in 1987 by a former student, Ray E. Newton of Chicago, Ill.
Jim is survived by his wife, Jane; five children, Jim (JoAnn) of Grants Pass, Ore., Joel (Martine) of Mission Viejo, Calif., John of Martinez, Calif., Jerry (Susan) of Cantonsville, Md., and Jane (Steve) Chronis of Ann Arbor; two sisters, Marie Hardman (Dave) of Clarksburg, W.Va., and Nancy Franzenburg (Paul) of Des Moines, Iowa.
Jim was preceded in death by an infant son, Jay Frank, and a sister, Virginia Ludlam. He has 15 grandchildren, whom he adored.
Memorial contributions may be made to the C. James Pilcher Scholarship Fund at the Business School.