William & Mary

Message regarding the passing of Jim Yankovich


Provost Michael Halleran sent the following message to the campus community on May 25, 2011 - Ed.

Dear William & Mary Community,

With deep sadness, I write to inform you that Dr. James M. Yankovich passed away on Wednesday morning, May 25.  A Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Education, Jim was a cherished part of our community for nearly 40 years.

Jim YankovichJim joined the faculty at William & Mary as Dean and Professor in the School of Education in 1974, serving as its Dean until 1983. A decade later, he agreed to return to that office as Acting Dean from 1993 to 1995.  Many of our current Education faculty were hired and mentored by Jim.  During his twenty-two years at William & Mary, Jim was a valuable supporter of public education, the School of Education, and the College.  A number of awards recognized his dedication, including the Award of Appreciation from the Virginia Association of Colleges of Teaching Education.  The Society of the Alumni elected Jim an honorary alumnus in 1995.  A year later he received the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award.  Jim remained active for both the College and community following his retirement.  His work with the Crossroads Project was recognized with the Prentis Award in 2002.

Born and raised in Richmond, Jim received his B.A. from the University of Richmond in 1958, his M.Ed. from the University of Virginia in 1961, and his Ed.D. from the University of Michigan in 1970.  Jim’s early career included roles as a teacher, guidance counselor, and assistant superintendent in Virginia and Michigan.   He went on to serve as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan at Flint before joining us in Williamsburg.
Jim’s personable approach and sense of humor, even in the midst of a daunting task, endeared him to students and colleagues alike.  His talent for entertaining was legendary, from the Jimmy Yankovich Orchestra in the 1950s through his days tickling the ivories for friends at Williamsburg Landing.  We will miss him greatly.

He is predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Ann, and survived by their three children and spouses: Kathy and Bruce Hornsby, Julie and Will Hummel, and Mike and Beth Yankovich; and six grandchildren.

The family is in the process of scheduling a memorial service for some time next week, and we will provide details as they become known.

UPDATE: May 26, 2011

The memorial service is planned for Wednesday, June 1, at 4:00 PM, at Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, followed by a reception at the church where the family will receive friends.  Interment will be private.


Michael R. Halleran
Michael R. Halleran
The College of William & Mary