Autopsy performed, memorial services announced for James Hawkins

An autopsy was performed today on the former dean of Florida A&M’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, and memorial services have been set for Monday. 

James Hawkins was pronounced dead Monday in Macon, Ga., after being found unconscious in his car outside of a Mellow Mushroom restaurant.

Under state law, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, autopsies are required in specific deaths, such as deaths occurring “suddenly when in apparent good health,” “as a result of violence” or “by suicide or casualty,” among others. A report to determine the manner and cause of death could take about four weeks.

Hawkins’ wife, Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins, wanted to have the memorial service and repast on FAMU’s campus, SJGC Dean Ann Kimbrough said.

“I told her, of course, whatever her wishes would be, we would honor them,” Kimbrough said. “We know that the space is tight, but we would make every accommodation that we could to honor a dean – a great dean – that served in this school.”

The viewing will take place Monday from 9-11 a.m. in Lee Hall Auditorium, immediately followed by the memorial service.

Times for the repast and interment have not yet been confirmed, but the repast is scheduled to take place in the SJGC gallery while the interment will occur at Culley’s MeadowWood Funeral Home at 700 Timberlane Road.

Kimbrough said she will know more about the order of service Thursday but doesn’t know what to expect Monday.

“But we do hope that we’ll have a program that honors the legacy of Dean Hawkins,” she said. “And because of him, it just naturally will honor the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.”

Chantale Glover, a 2011 graduate of the journalism program, created a Facebook page, “In Memory of Dean Hawkins, and is asking for contributions to create a memorial video in Hawkins’ honor.

“Each and every one of my classmates were touched in such an endearing way, and this is our tribute to him,” Glover said. “I ask that people contribute a few words, a picture of the dean and themselves and/or a short video.”

The page can be viewed at

Kimbrough said Mrs. Hawkins has reiterated that she’d like contributions to the James E. Hawkins Endowed Scholarship fund. To donate, visit or mail a check or money order to the following:

Florida A&M University Foundation Inc. 
625 E. Tennessee St., Suite 100
Tallahassee, FL 32308-4933