Professor James Button's family, friends and colleagues created this fund both to honor his work and provide support for graduate students to conduct research on the questions Button explored. When Jim Button passed away in 2005, he left behind an impressive body of scholarship in urban and minority politics, the politics of poverty and public policy. In his 30-plus year career at the University of Florida in the Department of Political Science, he developed numerous innovative courses and mentored thousands of students.
Button was born February 5, 1942 in Rochester, NY, and came to UF in 1973. He earned his doctorate from the University of Texas in 1975 and specialized in the study of minority and urban politics.
Button taught a variety of courses at UF, including race, gender and politics, politics of poverty, minorities and change, and gay and lesbian politics. In 2004, he was named the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Teacher of the Year.
Over the course of his career, Button authored numerous publications and books and served as interim chair of his department for a year as well as on the editorial board of the University Press of Florida. His book Blacks and Social Change won two book awards including the V.O. Key Priz