William & Mary

Message regarding David Clay Jenkins

Provost Michael Halleran sent the following message to the campus community on Nov. 10, 2010 - Ed.

Dear Friends:

I am very sorry to share with you the news that David Clay Jenkins, Professor of English Emeritus, passed away on November 4 after a long illness.  Professor Jenkins came to William & Mary in 1956 and enjoyed over 30 years of teaching here.  He retired from W&M in 1992 as Professor Emeritus.

David Clay Jenkins (Photo courtesy of the University Archives Photograph Collection)Professor Jenkins joined the English Department as an instructor in modern poetry and advanced and critical writing.  At the college, he identified and conducted extensive research on an 18th-century member of the College faculty, Goronwy-Owen, a Welshman who ran afoul of the sectarian leaders of the College and eventually migrated to central Virginia.  Goronwy-Owen became something of an iconic figure to Professor Jenkins and his interest led him to publish several articles on his hero’s life and times.  As a member of the faculty, Professor Jenkins established the William & Mary Review, a journal dedicated to publishing and circulating undergraduate, faculty and graduate original writing.  He was known among a wide circle of friends for his eclectic interests in fields as diverse as puppetry, printing, foreign languages and participation in music groups, where he was proficient on the recorder.  He was a published author of fiction in The New Yorker magazine, poetry in the William & Mary Quarterly and articles of local interest in the Gazette.

Friends may gather at a celebration of his life at a date and time to be announced.  The English Department will host a poetry reading and reception honoring David Jenkins's life and accomplishments on Wednesday, December 1, at 7 p.m. in the Wren Building's Great Hall.  Friends, colleagues, and former students who would like to participate in the poetry reading should contact Susan Donaldson, English Department chair, at svdona@wm.edu by 5pm on Monday, November 29.

Memorials in his honor may be mailed to The College of William & Mary, P.O. Box 1693, Williamsburg VA 23187-1693, payable to “The College of William & Mary Foundation” designated “English (2616)" in the memo field.  Online condolences may be registered at www.bucktroutfuneralhome.net.


Michael Halleran