Dr. Vasa Mihailovich, a former professor at the University of North Carolina, died this past Saturday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 89.Mihailovich taught Slavic languages and literature at UNC from 1961 until he retired in 1995. He lived in Chapel Hill for 46 years before moving to Connecticut to be closer to his son and grandchildren.A native of Yugoslavia, Mihailovich escaped bombing raids and execution squads before fleeing to Italy at the end of World War II. He emigrated to the United States in 1951 after spending five years in displaced persons camps in Italy and Germany. He put himself through college at Wayne State University in Detroit by working on the assembly line at Chrysler. Upon graduation, he attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned a Master’s degree and a Ph.D.Mihailovich was a distinguished poet and author of short stories and translated volumes of Serbian literature into English. Despite being deaf in one ear, he was fluent in four languages. His passion, other than literature and his family, was UNC basketball. He is survived by his sister Mira Brkovic of Leskovac, Serbia; his sons, Draggan and Zoran; and seven grandchildren. His wife Branka died in 2006.In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made to the Davis Library Fund at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.