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Jim McKenzie
A Celebration of Life


Remembering the life of Jim

"Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." –
Babe Ruth

Jim McKenzie grew up in West Windsor, New Jersey, graduating from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School (South) and began his undergraduate education at UC Irvine in the fall of 1990. As an undergraduate, Jim was a resident assistant and also worked for several years as a student assistant at the UCI Extended Day Care. After graduating with his degree in psychology in 1994, he began his career at UC Irvine as the lead teacher at UCI Extended Day Care Center, and over the next 21 years advanced to positions of increasing responsibility on the campus. These positions included roles as coordinator of marketing and information technology for Housing Administrative Services; director of finance and operations in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, assistant director in the UCI Budget Office; director of finance and human resources for the Center for Educational Partnerships; director of financial management at the Paul Merage School of Business; and most recently, since 2013, as assistant dean in the Donald Bren School of Information Computer Sciences. Jim achieved great success because he was intelligent and hard working. Perhaps most important though he succeeded because in each of the roles he held, Jim strove for excellence in management. He believed, first and foremost, that in order to build a better workplace, you must always invest in your people. Jim worked to create an atmosphere of inclusiveness and joy. This was true off campus as well in his volunteer work in youth sports. Indeed, he taught us all how to enjoy life simply by living his own. 

Jim is survived by his wife and two sons. He will be remembered fondly by all who knew him. 

In the future, should a fond memory or fun story of Jim come to mind that you wish to share with his wife to keep and re-visit with the boys as they are growing up, please email it to:

Photos & Video: If you have photos or video of Jim that you would like to share, please upload them to our private Google Photo Album.

How to Help

A McKenzie Family Education Fund has been established to help cover the future college costs of Jim's two sons. You can make a donation online at the YouCaring website >

The family also welcomes contributions to the Crystal Cove Alliance in memory of Jim. Donations can be sent to Crystal Cove Alliance,#5 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA 92651. You can also make donations online. Make sure to mention that the donation is made in memory of Jim McKenzie. The organization will provide Jim’s family with a list of those who made donations in his memory.