Waynne James's legacy lives on through her students. The areas of graduate programming, leadership of professional associations, and research and teaching best define her major contributions. She has served at three different institutions where her efforts have reinforced the development of quality doctoral programs. Her primary contribution at the institutional level is the careful molding of her graduates who continue to make their own marks in the field.
Her leadership responsibilities spanned a 10-year period during which she served as president of AAACE and the Commission on Adult Basic Education as well as in other elected and/or appointed positions. Specific activities as President of AAACE 1985-1986) included initiating AAACE's strategic planning process, the creation of a Speakers Bureau, and the inception of the History Unit. Several of her students have also held elected and/or appointed offices in AAACE.
She continues to add to her legacy through advocating the need for historical awareness of individuals and their endowments to the field, using the concept of learning styles to improve the quality of learning/teaching in the classroom, and revisiting Robert Havighurst's Social Roles for adaptation to contemporary society. Many of these research efforts are being accomplished through mutual ventures with her dissertation students.