Memorial Service For Former FAMU Dean [SLIDE SHOW]

Credit: Facebook
Former FAMU School of Journalism Dean, James Hawkins.
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By: Lanetra Bennett
June 3, 2013, 12:08 p.m.

Mayor Marks is speaking at Dr. Hawkins' funeral.

He says Hawkins was not only an asset to the community, he called him "an asset to the world."

Mayor Marks left encouraging words for Hawkins' wife, Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins.

By: Lanetra Bennett
June 3, 2013, 11:30 a.m.

Lee Hall Auditorium is filled with family, friends, FAMU and local officials, students, alumni, and journalists who were touched in some way by Dr. James E. Hawkins.

Hundreds are in attendance for Hawkins' funeral this morning to say goodbye to the former dean of FAMU's School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.

James E. Hawkins, Ph.D. Memorial Service

Monday, June 3, 2013
9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Lee Hall Auditorium
Florida A&M University

Monday, June 3, 2013
11 a.m.
Lee Hall Auditorium
Florida A&M University

FAMU School of Journalism
& Graphic Communication
510 Orr Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32307

Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home
700 Timberlane Road, Tallahassee, FL 32312

In lieu of flowers, the family asks us to donate to the James E. Hawkins Endowed Scholarship:

• Visit:
• Under the "Please direct my donation to:" drop box, select "17. James E. Hawkins Endowed Scholarship (1655)"

Mail check or money order to:
Florida A&M University Foundation, Inc.
625 E. Tennessee Street, Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32308-4933

Phone: 850.412.5755

More information about the Wake to follow. Thank you for your continued prayers.

By: Lanetra Bennett
May 28, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Rattler Nation is mourning the loss of the former dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, Dr. James Hawkins.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death."

Former FAMU student Paul Derevere says Dr. James Hawkins was reciting that verse from the 23rd Psalm the first time he saw him in 2005. Derevere was a freshman at the time.

Derevere says, "Then he compared the scripture to rap lyrics. I thought was really, really funny. When he did that compared contrast, because that's something I would kind of do, I thought, I think I kind of like this guy."

Like most, Derevere grew to love him, making the news of Hawkins' death difficult to handle for so many.

Dr. Hawkins, who was the dean of the FAMU School of
Journalism and Graphic Communications from 2004 to 2013, died Monday.

His family says he had a heart attack.

Derevere says, "A lot of stuff we explored intellectually, personally. I'll miss him a lot. I'm sad. But, I'm also really grateful that a guy like that existed."

FAMU professors say the fruits of Dr. James Hawkins' labor are evident in the FAMU's School of Journalism.

Longtime FAMU Journalism Professor Kenneth Jones says, "The news reporters and live newscasts that are produced daily; the award-winning documentaries, the public relations firm. There's no doubt that his hand print is all over it because he wanted it to happen and he helped to make it happen."

Students say Hawkins was an adviser and friend.

Derevere says, "Undeniably, he made a huge impact when he was here more than most people ever will. It's sad that he's gone, but I'm glad he was here."

Finalized funeral arrangements have not been confirmed yet.

Dr. Hawkins' death comes on the heels of a big loss at FSU. Richard Fallon, who played a major role in building FSU's School of Theatre into a nationally prominent program, died May 23 at age 89.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, May 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Fallon Theatre in the Fine Arts Building at FSU.

Press Release: Florida A&M University

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida A&M University (FAMU) is mourning the death of James E. Hawkins, former dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) from 2004 to 2013.

“We have lost a great educator and administrator who worked tirelessly during his tenure to continue the great legacy of the School of Journalism at FAMU,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson. “Due to the commitment and dedication that Dr. Hawkins demonstrated to the professional development of his students, the program produced outstanding journalists and graphic design professionals who helped diversify newsrooms, and design studios throughout the U.S. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family. He will be sorely missed.”

Hawkins a graduate of Oakwood College and Ohio State University, began teaching at FAMU in 1977 as an assistant professor in broadcast journalism. In 1982, Hawkins was named director of the journalism division. As dean and director, Hawkins was always a student advocate and maintained an open door policy. He prided himself on his ability to remember the names of all students who matriculated through the SJGC.

Hawkins guided the school to becoming the first historically black college or university recognized by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. He is also credited with:

• Establishing FAMU TV-20;
• Increasing the wattage of WANM 90.5 FM;
• Establishing the CBS Harold Dow Professorship and Internship Program;
• Creating the Thelma Thurston Gorham Distinguished Alumni Award;
• Implementing the National Association of Black Journalists Multimedia Short Course;
• Establishing the Media Sales Institute;
• Creating the FAMU Music Recording Program; and
• Establishing the Black College Communication Association’s national office.

Among his many honors, was being recognized as “Educator of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists.

“Dean Hawkins had this amazing ability to see the potential in every student,” said Kathy Times, former president of the National Association of Black Journalists. “Not only did he inspire and encourage us to be excellent journalists, he also made sure we were exposed to professionals, conferences, and other events beyond Tallahassee that would help us stand out in an extremely competitive field. He was also a masterful magician.

I don't know how he did it, but he made it possible for me and others to receive scholarships and opportunities time and time again with limited financial resources. Words cannot express how much I will miss hearing his quiet and reassuring voice. He was one of my must trusted mentors and cheerleaders. I'm so grateful for his guidance and friendship and thankful to his family for allowing him to spend countless hours performing miracles and changing thousands of lives.”

Dr. Hawkins began his career working as a reporter, photographer and film editor at WLWC-TV in Columbus, Ohio. He held news reporting positions with the Associated Press and the Oakland Tribute. A native of Newport News, Va., Hawkins received his bachelor’s’ degree from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala., and earned his master’s and doctorate from Ohio State University.

Press Release: Family Spokesperson, Kim Godwin

Official Announcement of the Death of our Beloved Dean James E. Hawkins

On behalf of Dean Hawkins' wife, Judge Judith Hawkins, it is with a heavy heart that I confirm that Dean Hawkins has indeed passed away. He was traveling back from Atlanta this afternoon and decided to stop and have an early dinner with a former student in Macon, Georgia. We all know that is just one of the reasons we loved Doc. He kept in touch with all of us and made us feel special. He texted the former student at 3:18 to say he had arrived, but when he had not come inside the restaurant by 3:30, she went outside to look for him and found him unresponsive in his car. When EMT's arrived, he could not be revived and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Judge Hawkins asks that we give her at least a day to grieve with her close family and to make arrangements to get the Dean's body back to Tallahassee. Memorial service arrangements will be made shortly afterward. Judge Hawkins says she is thankful that he left this life doing what he loved to do and she's thanking God that he was not driving when it happened. She asks for your prayers and support. In lieu of flowers, she's asking all of us to give donations to the James E Hawkins Endowed Scholarship fund at FAMU. More information about how to give is forthcoming.

Tallahassee, FL - Florida A & M University officials say former Dean of the FAMU School of Journalism James Hawkins has died. Hawkins retired as Dean last year.

Officials confirm Hawkins died of a heart attack.

Hawkins' wife is current Leon County judge, Judith Hawkins.

WCTV will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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