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News & Press: NABJ News

NABJ Mourns the Loss of Former Journalism Educator of the Year Dr. James Hawkins

Tuesday, May 28, 2013   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Tiane Johnson
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 28, 2013)--The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of Dr. James Hawkins, the former Dean of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC). He passed away on Monday in Macon, GA after a heart attack. He was 64.

Hawkins was a professor and administrator at FAMU for more than 30 years, mentoring scores of journalists among them a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, Kathy Times, a former national student representative, Georgia Dawkins, and a former national convention chair, Elise Durham.

"Dr. Hawkins leaves behind a legacy of good works through service. He worked to ensure that FAMU students received a first-rate education, gained exposure to journalism and media through internships and other training, and then developed nurturing relationships with colleagues, mentors, and peers as members of the National Association of Black Journalists," said NABJ President Gregory Lee, Jr.

Hawkins graduated from Oakwood College and Ohio State University. He began teaching at FAMU in 1977 as an assistant professor in broadcast journalism. While teaching, he continued reporting for The Associated Press and the Oakland Tribune over the summers. In 1982, Hawkins was named director of the journalism division which became the School of Journalism, Media and Graphic Arts. The school was later changed to the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication in 2004, with the idea of convergence and the process of putting the entire school into one building.

Dr. Hawkins was a loyal member and a staunch supporter of NABJ building a solid pipeline providing scholarships which allowed dozens of students annually the opportunity to travel to NABJ's annual convention and career fair.

On campus, he led the SJGC's move into a 100,000-square-foot building which allowed the school to provide numerous programs and services to the upwards of 500 students enrolled in the university's j-school. The school also gave rise to to the award-winning student chapter of NABJ, FAMU-ABJ.

In 1991, NABJ started its annual broadcast short course program at FAMU under Hawkins’ watch. What is now known as the FAMU Multimedia Short Course expands FAMU's reach and influence beyond FAMU students to dozens more students who will enter the media profession well-aware of the importance of media convergence.

"Organizations like NABJ would be nothing without faithful members like Dr. James Hawkins whose love of the organization compel them to do good by others, not for personal gain, but because of the difference it makes," Lee said. "NABJ will surely miss Dr. Hawkins and his sheer generosity of spirit."

NABJ extends condolences to Dr. Hawkins' family, friends, colleagues, and his extended FAMU family.


An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For more information, please visit


Antwan Key says...
Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2013
He will be missed greatly!
Rod Carter says...
Posted Tuesday, May 28, 2013
A Wonderful educator and true friend to NABJ, will certainly be missed.

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