In memoriam: Donald Yates
March 8, 2021
Donald Yates, an instructor in the Virginia Tech Department of Sociology, died Feb. 14, 2021. He was 69.
Before arriving at Virginia Tech in 2019, for four decades he taught sociology and criminal justice in higher education institutions throughout Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia.
Yates began his teaching career in 1975, as an instructor in the Department of Sociology at Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas. Since then, he served as assistant professor, visiting assistant professor, associate professor, and lecturer at such universities as Georgia Southwestern, Oklahoma State University, and Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Social Science at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in Normal, Alabama.
During his career, Yates was a prolific writer. In 2018, through Covenant Books, he published, “Social Scientific Research and Scholarship Joined with Universal Spiritual Truth Principles in Explaining Donald Trump’s Candidacy, and the Voters and Others of His Cohort Who Support Him: The Search for Higher Wisdom.” WestBow Press published his first book, “A Life Committed to Its Intended Anchorage and Soar: The Harmony Between Spiritual Principles and Sound Science,” in 2011.
His author credits also span more than 60 research studies, papers, book chapters, reports, and articles in such journals as the American Journal of Criminal Justice, the Social Science Journal, and Police Studies.
Yates earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bishop College in Dallas, Texas; a master’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington; a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Texas at Tyler; and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.
He was passionate about his involvement with church, civic organizations, and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
Yates is survived by two sisters: Mary Yates (James) Mack of Daphne, Alabama, and Juanita Yates of Washington, D.C.; four brothers: Rev. Orlando B. (Margie) Yates of Cincinnati, Ohio; his twin, Rev. Ronald L. (Ruby) Yates of Grayson, Georgia; Rev. Jonathan L. (Doris) Yates of Mobile, Alabama; and Rev. Maynard G. (Lessie) Yates of Dallas, Texas; his adopted sister, Carolyn Tucker; three adopted brothers, Thaddeus Harris, Carl (Tony) Carter, and Rev. Victor Broadenax; one sister-in-law, Lady Vonda E. Yates of Cantonment, Florida; 14 nieces and nephews; 18 great nieces and nephews; four aunts; one uncle; and a host of other relatives and friends.
His obituary can be found here.
Those in the Virginia Tech community who need assistance or counseling support may contact:
- Cook Counseling Center at 540-231-6557
- Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787. Referral to a campus cleric may be made through this office.
- Employee Assistance Program
- Anthem at 855-223-9277
- Aetna at 888-238-6232
- Kaiser Permanente at 866-517-7042
- Optima Health Vantage HMO at 866-846-2682
- Hokie Wellness at 540-231-2233 (students) or 540-231-8878 (employees)
- Office of Housing and Residence Life at 540-231-6205
- Women’s Center at Virginia Tech at 540-231-7806