Presidents of Greensboro College

  1. The Rev. Solomon Lea
  2. The Rev. Dr. Albert M. Shipp
  3. The Rev. Dr. Charles F. Deems
  4. The Rev. Dr. Turner M. Jones
  5. The Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Dixon
  6. The Rev. Dr. Frank L. Reid
  7. The Rev. Dr. Dred Peacock
  8. Mrs. Lucy H. Robertson
  9. The Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Turrentine
  10. Dr. Luther L. Gobbel
  11. The Rev. Dr. Harold H. Hutson
  12. The Rev. Dr. J. Ralph Jolly
  13. The Rev. Dr. David G. Mobberley
  14. The Rev. Dr. Howard C. Wilkinson
  15. The Rev. Dr. James S. Barrett
  16. The Rev. Dr. William H. Likins
  17. The Rev. Dr. Craven E. Williams


Solomon Lea

The Rev. Solomon Lea
1st President, 1846-1847

“In his profession, he attained eminent success and renown. His method of teaching was explanatory; his approach such as to enable him to get a response for the dullest pupil. Though gentle in manner, he demanded sound scholarship and commanded both the respect and love of all who studied under him.”


Excerpt: From a paper entitled “Solomon Lea,” given on Founder’s and Benefactor’s Day, March 12, 1938. (Author unknown)

b.1807 – d.1897



Albert Shipp

The Rev. Dr. Albert M. Shipp
2nd President, 1847-1850

“During Rev. Shipp’s administration, enrollment increased noticeably and twenty-six young women graduated. Under his leadership, Methodists came to regard Greensboro Female College as a suitable place for the education of their daughters.”


Excerpt: Samuel B. Turrentine, “A Romance of Education,” 1946.

b.1817 – d.1887


Charles Deems

The Rev. Dr. Charles F. Deems
3rd President, 1850-1854

“I have endeavored to give you young ladies right principles believing that if you have right principles they will come forth into leaves of gracious language and fruits of useful acts and you will be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters… If you do not exert a more powerful influence upon society than those who have not had you advantages, you will do the great mischief of bringing contempt upon the education of your sex.”


Excerpt: Charles F. Deems, “What Now? A Present for Young Ladies,” 1852.

b.1820 – d.1893


Turner Jones

The Rev. Dr. Turner M. Jones
4th President, 1854-1890

“Deep in piety, profound in scholarship, yet modest as a child, he labored with a zeal which knew no weariness and achieved a success in the higher education of women which exceeded the most sanguine expectations of all. His body may moulder away into sacred and pathetic dust, but his influence for good will never cease to be felt… He will continue to live in the lives of the hundreds of young women he educated.”


Excerpt: Death announcement of Rev. Dr. Turner M. Jones from the Greensboro Female College Association.

b.1819 – d.1890


Benjamin Dixon

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Dixon
5th President, 1890-1893

“In the art of imparting knowledge, or training and molding character, and the inculcation of religious truth, Dr. Dixon occupies a position in the front rank of distinguished educators, and there are few brighter Masons, more exemplary Christians or polished gentlemen within the bounds of the old North State.”


Excerpt: “College Message,” vol. V, no. 1, Greensboro, N.C., Feb., 1892.

b.1845 – d.1910


Frank Reid

The Rev. Dr. Frank L. Reid
6th President, 1893-1894

“While his administration lasted only one year, records show that Dr. Reid was responsible for the College’s making progress in the field of Christian Education.”


Excerpt: Samuel B. Turrentine, “A Romance of Education,” 1946.

b.1851 – d.1894


Dred Peacock

Dr. Dred Peacock
7th President, 1894-1902

“We are grateful for the urge given us by him to high and noble living, for the impetus toward learning received from him, for the desire he awoke in us for knowledge, and the accomplishment of worthwhile work in the world. The instruction and inspiration imparted to us by him have become part of the warp and woof of our lives, and we in large measure feel indebted to him for whatever treasures, – cultural, mental, spiritual – we have been able to lay up for ourselves through the passing years.”


Excerpt: Samuel B. Turrentine, “A Romance of Education,” 1942. (From resolutions of the Greensboro College Alumnae Association)

b.1864 – d.1934


Lucy Robertson

Mrs. Lucy H. Robertson
8th President, 1902-1913

“A splendid leader she proved to be under adverse circumstances, with qualities and characteristics which fitted her so well to fulfill the various roles she was called upon to assume; teacher, lady principal, president, president emeritus and teacher of Bible and religious education.” “Who of us would not be glad to have our daughters influenced by such a woman? Can we not say that independent of any hope of advantage we would choose her for a superior, trust her as a friend and love her as a mother?”


Excerpt #1: Annie M. Pegram, “A Word-Picture of Mrs. Lucy H. Robertson,” date unknown.
Excerpt #2: Tribute to Mrs. Lucy H. Robertson on her retirement as president of the College, adopted by Alumnae at luncheon at 1913 commencement.


Click here to learn more about Mrs. Lucy H. Robertston.

b.1850 – d.1930


SB Turrentine

The Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Turrentine
9th President, 1913-1935

“Dr. S.B. Turrentine, truly “a gentleman and a scholar,” was an integral part of Greensboro College for thirty-six years. The Chrisitan life he lived speaks of him more eloquently than any words we could say, but we would like to pay tribute to the rich heritage each Greensboro College girl may claim because of her association with him. Tennyson wrote, “I am a part of all I have met.” If we who knew him as our College President have allowed his ideals to be incorporated into our lives, we have followed a good example. He was understanding, patient, just, thoughtful and considerate of others, calm in the face of difficulties, dignified, kind, and his strength was as the strength of ten because his heart was pure.”

Excerpt: Tribute to Dr. Samuel Bryant Turrentine from the Greensboro College Alumnae Association. Written and delivered by Mrs. J.W. Harbison on May 28, 1949.

b.1861 – d.1949


Luther Gobbel

Dr. Luther L. Gobbel
10th President, 1935-1952

“The administration of President Gobbel was devoted not only to strengthening the physical and financial structure but also to making various internal adjustments and improvements in the institution calculated to result in a type of training that will enable young women to meet more adequately the demands of the present era.”


Excerpt: Statement by Miss Mary Brock in “An appreciation of Luther L. Gobbel: President of Greensboro College, 1935-1952,” Greensboro College Bulletin, vol. XLI, no.1, July 1953.

b.1895 – d.1991


Harold Hutson

The Rev. Dr. Harold H. Hutson
11th President, 1952-1964

“The college’s move to coeducation in 1954-56 attracted a great deal of comment on various aspects of the change, but it was first and last an educational decision bearing strongly on the future of the college. We needed students — and we couldn’t recruit larger classes with 50% of high school graduates off-limits to us. We had to expand the liberal arts curriculum in order to attract students to a high-quality institution. Many of the academic areas necessary to attract students and to improve the curriculum were strongly associated, at that time, with men’s education. Further, the entire program of informal education, both on the campus and in the city of Greensboro, dictated a more normal social situation. The final decision by the board of trustees has been educationally justified a hundred times over by increases in enrollment and by the solid development of instructional areas which quickly became the major choices of both men and women.”

Excerpt: Dr. Harold H. Hutson, Paper entitled “Greensboro College, 1952-1964,” 1987.

b.1914 – d.2006


JR Jolly

The Rev. Dr. J. Ralph Jolly
12th President, 1964-1969

Dr. Jolly was instrumental in bringing “Greensboro College and Greensboro’s corporate interests and individual citizens closer together.” He also worked to improve academic programs, classroom facilities, dormitory space, and the college’s status as a co-educational institution.


Excerpt: “Dr. Jolly leaves GC,” Greensboro Daily News, Oct. 11, 1968. (Author unknown)

b.1921 – d.


David Mobberly

The Rev. Dr. David G. Mobberley
13th President, 1969-1972

“Dr. Mobberley’s administration was characterized by strongly conflicting opinions on how the church-affiliated school should go about making its educational process and curriculum more relevant to life and society in the latter part of the twentieth century. Upon hearing of Dr. Mobberley’s resignation in 1972, Student Government President Sam Leonard commented, “Under Mobberley’s leadership, GC has moved from an atmosphere of repression to at least an educational atmosphere which provides for creative development.”


Excerpt: Jack Scism, “GC’s Mobberley to Resign, Cites Personal Reasons,” Greenboro Daily News (B1), March 8, 1972.

b.1921 – d.2007


Howard Wilkinson

The Rev. Dr. Howard C. Wilkinson
14th President, 1972-1981

“While president of Greensboro College, Dr. Wilkinson fervently sought to place higher education into a Christian context. Looking back on his time at the college, he observed that “At G.C. there was perhaps a greater opportunity to shape the lives of individual students and to assist them with their life plans.”


Excerpt: Letter sent out by Dr. Wilkinson at Christmas, 1981.

b.1918 – d.2007


James Barrett

The Rev. Dr. James S. Barrett
15th President, 1981-1984

“A firm believer in the notion that faith and learning belong together, Dr. Barrett stated, “The noble notion of a church college in a secular society is one of the most compelling ideas in the entire current marketplace of thought. It is in the little college, underfunded and quite often undervalued, that a cosmic struggle goes on day by day to weld the force of budding intellect to the fabric of faith.”


Excerpt: James S. Barrett, “A passion for Faith and a rage for learning,” Greensboro College Bulletin, vol.70, pg.2, June 1982.

b.1935 – d.2007


WH Likins

The Rev. Dr. William H. Likins
16th President, 1984-1993

“During Dr. Likin’s tenure, the core curriculum was revitalized and the honors degree program strengthened. The establishment of an academic program tailored for adults enabled men and women to begin or complete degrees and to redirect their careers. For traditional students, new programs in leadership, orientation, community service, career development and religious life expanded opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.”


Excerpt: From the “Presentation of Presidential Portrait,” 1994. (Author unknown)

b.1931 – d.2002


Craven Williams
The Rev. Dr. Craven E. Williams
17th President, 1993-2009

Combining administrative savvy with a dynamic personality, Dr. Williams has focused his energies on issues such as funding, technology, and ethics during his time at the college.

“I think we are looking to enlarge the group of people who know about this college and who think what we are doing is worthwhile.”

Excerpt: Beth McMurtrie, “College turns funding corner,” Greensboro News & Record (A1), February 3, 1996.

b.1940 – d.