William & Mary

Message regarding the passing of James C. Livingston

William & Mary Provost Michael Halleran sent the following message to the campus community on Aug. 1, 2011.  - Ed.

Dear William & Mary Community,

James C. LivingstonI write with great sadness to share the news that James C. Livingston, a professor and administrator at the College for 30 years, has passed away.  He was quite simply a pillar on which the modern William & Mary was built.

Professor Livingston joined the College in 1968 as the founding chair of the Department of Religion (now Religious Studies), earning promotion to full professor in 1973.  He became the Walter G. Mason Professor of Religion in 1986.  Beyond his exemplary teaching and scholarship, he served on every major committee and was the first dean of the undergraduate program.  In 1994, he received the Thomas Jefferson Award, our highest faculty honor.  Students appreciated his uncompromising standards of excellence and considered approach to complex issues of religious thought.  Colleagues remember his generosity of spirit and civility at all times.  Upon his retirement in 1998, the Board of Visitors said he “epitomized the best of academic life.”

Professor Livingston authored or edited 11 books, including the widely used Modern Christian Thought and The Anatomy of the Sacred, as well as more than 100 articles.  He received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – the first William & Mary professor to receive this prestigious honor.  His prolific work led to a sterling international reputation and ushered in an increased emphasis on faculty research at the College.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 6, at 10:00 a.m. at Bruton Parish Episcopal Church.  A reception will follow in the Bruton Parish House.  Those attending may park on Duke of Gloucester Street.


Michael Halleran