Grimsley T. Hobbs, president of Guilford College from 1965 to 1980, died Monday in a car accident nine miles north of here.

Hobbs, 67, of Pittsboro died when the car he was driving crossed the center line, hit an embankment and overturned on N.C. 87, the Highway Patrol said. Hobbs was wearing a seat belt.Hobbs became president in 1965, succeeding Clyde A. Milner. A Greensboro native, Hobbs was the grandson of the college's first president, Lewis Lyndon Hobbs.

When Hobbs resigned, he said that his major achievements were improving academics while rebuilding and renovating the campus.

Rufus White, at that time chairman of the board of Guilford College, credited Hobbs with improving Guilford's faculty. From 1969 to 1979, White said, the number of faculty with doctorates rose by 140 percent.

``He raised faculty salaries, enabling the school to attract a better quality teacher,' said Seth Macon, then chairman of the trustees' Finance and Investment Committee.

Hobbs, who came to Guilford during the turbulent era of lunch-counter sit-ins, Vietnam protests and delicate problems of law enforcement, will also be remembered for the innovative criminal justice program at Guilford's Urban Center. It was designed to improve relations between law enforcement officials and the public, and started as a two-year degree program in the social sciences and humanities for police, firefighters and other public officials. Response was overwhelming, and the two-year program soon grew to four years.

Hobbs resigned as Guilford College's fifth president at the end of the 1979-80 academic year. He continued to teach philosophy there.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

Load comments