With Care and Candor, Professor Spruill Guided Students for 30 Years


April 22, 1980. James Spruill in the title role of a 1980 CFA production of Othello, with actor Jason Alexander (CFA’81, Hon.’95) (right).

School of Theatre Professor James Spruill (’75) died on December 31. Professor Spruill was an actor in New York in the 1960s and early 1970s before coming to Boston.

As a professor, director, and leader in the Boston theater community, he taught students with a generosity and warmth that many never forgot and brought to Boston a vibrant brand of theater.

He was the first person to receive the Martin Luther King, Jr. (’55, Hon. ’59) Fellowship established by BU trustees to honor King’s ideals and awarded annually to an outstanding African American graduate student.

Former School of Theatre Director William Lacy said: “Many speak of the dignity of the individual, but few passionately give themselves over to the means of instilling and nurturing that dignity in the young. Jim understood the frightful adolescence that many confronted and sought to open doors. He did so in his teaching as well as through community action.”

A Public Memorial:
Jim, The Official Life Celebration
Saturday, February 12, 2:00-4:30pm
Black Box Theater at the Boston Center for the Arts

See a remembrance of Professor Spruill in BU Today.