Dr. McGavran was one of the first professors I had a class with when I transferred to UNC Charlotte. I first took British Literature II with him, followed by Creative Nonfiction and, finally, Wordsworth and Charlotte Smith as a new graduate student this past semester. It saddens me beyond words to know that I won’t be able to spend another semester with him.
Dr. McG was a fantastic person who always made his students laugh at least three times per class period. It was beyond obvious how much he cared about the writers he was introducing us to, and his enthusiasm was infectious.
I was honored to be awarded the Margaret B Bryan Award for Undergraduate Excellence by Dr. McG just before graduating and moving into the graduate program. I've looked up to him from my first semester and was so excited for my parents and brother to meet the professor that I'd talked so much about, even though he made me cry with his speech.
Today, when I saw his memorial on the English Department website, I was stunned. I thought that it had to be wrong, that I was just emailing with him about an article last week, had seen him the week before. I just can't accurately express just how devastating his loss is or how unreal it seems.
For his wife, children, and siblings about whom he always spoke so fondly, my sincerest condolences. Please know that your Jim touched many lives and was a wonderful influence on so many students. I'm sure that we will all carry him with us on our future journeys.
Mary-Elizabeth “Beth" Greene