Provost Michael R. Halleran sent the following notice to the campus community on Sept. 6, 2013. - Ed.
I write with great sadness to share the news that James D. Lavin, Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, Emeritus, died on August 31. Professor Lavin joined the W&M faculty in 1968 in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. During his career he taught Spanish language courses at all levels, as well as courses in his specialties, Spanish Poetry, Prose and Drama of the Golden Age and the Cultural History of Spain. He served on numerous departmental committees and was advisor and mentor to students and colleagues. He designed and directed the W&M summer program in Santander, Spain between 1978 and 1982. Professor Lavin was author and editor of numerous books, talks and articles, and was legendary in the field of Spanish arms and armor. His book The Art and Tradition of the Zuloagas, published in the United Kingdom and in Spain in 1997, is the standard work on Spanish damascene ornament. He co-authored a catalog of the renowned American and European firearms at Colonial Williamsburg. After 34 years of devoted service, he retired from the College in 2002. Former colleague, Professor George Greenia, said, “Jim modernized his research methods at his own pace, but had the good humor to once make a special nameplate for his office door that read ‘Jurassic Prof.’ James Lavin brought fame and honor to the College.”
Professor Lavin is survived by his wife of 45 years, Mary; daughter, Betsy; sons James and Michael; and four grandchildren. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, September 9 at 1:00 p.m. at William & Mary’s Catholic Student Chapel on Harrison Avenue. Interment will follow at St. Bede Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any Hospice Care organization, the Heritage Humane Society of Williamsburg, or any favorite charity involved in medical research on diseases in aging.