James “Jim” Doan was born in Palo Alto, California, in 1953, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended Catholic schools for twelve years before matriculating to the University of California, Santa Cruz, and earning a B.A. in Literature (English, French and Welsh).
After completing an M.A. in Folklore and Mythology at U.C.L.A., he received a second M.A. (in Celtic Languages and Literatures) at Harvard University, as well as a Ph.D. in Folklore and Celtic Studies at Harvard.
After teaching in the Boston area for seven years, in 1988 he moved to South Florida to accept a position as professor in humanities and the arts at Nova Southeastern University (NSU).
Jim’s love of opera and other performing arts began at an early age when he saw his aunt singing for the West Bay Opera Company. He also began to frequent opera, ballet and the symphony in San Francisco. He continued to develop his interest in the arts after moving to the East Coast, where he attended opera performances in Boston and New York.
He has been a patron of Florida Grand Opera since the late 1980s and has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2007. He has worked on numerous committees for FGO, in areas such as development and strategic planning, and is also currently the Vice-Chair for Broward County.
Jim is particularly interested in art education, having contributed with his partner, Ron Norwood, to FGO’s Young Artist program. He has also introduced numerous NSU students, both graduate and undergraduate, to opera and theater productions.
Jim is also very interested in travel study and established the Stolzenberg-Doan Endowment Fund which supports an International Studies lecture series, as well as scholarships to allow NSU students to undertake foreign studies, named for his mother and grandparents.
As founding president of the South Florida Irish Studies Consortium, Inc., he has hosted Irish singers and musicians, and visiting Irish scholars at NSU and other venues in South Florida.
Jim and Ron both enjoy collecting art and growing orchids.
They travel throughout the United States, Canada and Europe whenever they have the chance. While hiking on a trail in Tennessee in the summer of 2009, they found a Miniature Pinscher which they adopted. Named Conasauga, after the falls where they found him, he is a loveable, yet mischievous, addition to their lives.