In Memoriam: Raymond Gavins, 1942-2016

Raymond Gavins, professor of history at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, died on May 22 at the Duke Medical Pavillion. He was 73 years old.

Professor Gavins was a native of Atlanta. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Virginia Union University in Richmond and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history at the University of Virginia. He was the first African American to be awarded a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of gavinsbookVirginia.

Dr. Gavins joined the faculty at Duke in 1970. He was the first African American to join the faculty of Duke’s history department. Dr. Gavins was promoted to associate professor in 1977 and to full professor in 1992.

His most recent book is The Cambridge Guide to African American History (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

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Comments (5)

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  1. John L. Hudgins says:

    Dr. Gavins was an outstanding faculty member and role model. As a young Black faculty member he was a very calming inspiration to Black students during a time of serious turmoil and change at Duke. I was fortunate to have him as an undergraduate instructor as well as a member of my dissertation committee. His legacy at Duke and in the hearts of his students will live on.

  2. Charles Pete Banner-Haley says:

    Dr. Raymond Gains was a friend and a mentor to me in my early years as a student of African American History. He was indeed a generous man . He was likewise a thoughtful and engaging scholar. I am saddened by his passing and will miss him deeply.

  3. Charles Pete Banner-Haley says:

    Dr. Raymond Gavins was friend and a mentor to me in my early years as a student in African American History. He was indeed a generous man. He was likewise a thoughtful and engaging scholar. I am saddened by his passing and will miss him deeply

  4. Charles Pete Banner-Haley says:

    I might also add that he was of great service to Duke University.

  5. Cathy J. Carter says:

    I will always remember meeting Professor Gavin’s often on the sidewalk between Old Chemistry and Perkins and how his face would light up with a big smile. We would have a good chat then part to go our way. I am sadden that I will not see that wonderful smile, yet knowing he is seeing what we cannot image, and sharing that wonderful smile in his eternal life.

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