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Former FAMU Journalism Dean Dies

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — James E. Hawkins, the former dean of the Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, has died, officials said Tuesday.

Hawkins died Monday in Macon, Ga., according to a statement from the university.

Hawkins was traveling back from Atlanta and decided to stop in Macon, Ga., to have dinner with a former student. “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,” officials said.

He sent a text message saying that he had arrived, but when he failed to enter the restaurant, the former student went looking for him and found him unresponsive in his car, officials said.

Hawkins was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“His legacy of student enrichment and encouragement left an indelible mark upon our alumni, students, faculty and staff … our friends and supporters,” said FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication Dean Ann Wead Kimbrough.

Hawkins began working at FAMU in 1977, three years after the journalism program began, as an assistant professor of broadcast journalism. He continued working during the summers as a journalist for the Associated Press and the Oakland Tribune, officials said.

When the journalism program became the School of Journalism and Graphic Arts in 1982, Hawkins was named director of the journalism division.

He became interim dean of the journalism school in 2003, and he was named dean less than a year later.

Hawkins’ wife said arrangements for a memorial service will be made after his body is returned to Tallahassee.

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