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UMass Amherst Professor Remembers Former Student James Foley

foleyAmherst (WGGB)– Before he became a Journalist, James Foley studied writing at UMass Amherst. The New Hampshire native graduated with a masters degree in 2003.

“Jim Foley was a young man of acute intelligence, a young man of great sensitivity, a young man strong principle.” said Foley’s former UMass professor, Martin Espada.

Espada says he still remembers very clearly when he met James Foley as a graduate student in the English department more than a decade ago.
Foley was at UMass studying fiction, but it was journalism that brought him to the front lines of conflicts across the world.

“Everyone respected him, everyone listened when he spoke. he always had something to say” Espada added.

Foley spent years working as a freelance reporter in the Middle East, and knew the dangers he faced.
Foley was first taken hostage in Libya back in 2011 and released after several weeks.
When he was taken again in Syria back in 2012 Espada never gave up hope.

“Once someone pulls off a miracle you expect another miracle.” said Espada.

Espada says he will not watch the video of Foley’s death, which has been released on the internet, and his heart goes out to the family of James Foley.

“That young man wanted to live a meaningful life and that’s what he did.” said Espada

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