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Presidents of Peabody College:
Felix Compton Robb

Reprinted from The Peabody Reflector v34 n3 (May-June 1961): 79

Felix Compton RobbDr. Felix C. Robb, dean of instruction since 1951, will become president of George Peabody College for Teachers September 1. He will succeed Dr. Henry H. Hill, one of the nation's leading educators, who will retire August 31. Dr. Robb will be the fourth president in the history of modern Peabody, the others having been Dr. Bruce Payne, who was in office from 1911 until his death in 1937, and Dr. S. C. Garrison, who also died in office. Dr. Hill has served since 1945.

The Peabody Board of Trustees unanimously approved Dr. Robb for the presidencey May 11 upon recommendation of a six-man selection committee, appointed after Dr. Hill announced his retirement plans last August.

Dr. Robb will bring a wide variety of training and experience into the presidency, ranging from public school teaching to a special study of the college presidency.

As dean of instruction and professor of higher education at Peabody, he has worked in the areas of the instructional program and its development, has supervised all undergraduate programs, has headed the important faculty committee on instruction, and admistered the academic and professional programs beyond the M.A.

He is especially familiar with the Peabody presidential responsibilities, for he was assistant to President Hill from 1947 until 1951. His duties at Peabody also have included acting directorship of the Library School and the Division of Surveys and Field Services, coordination for two years of the college's teacher training program in Korea, and service as undergraduate dean.

In 1958-60, he was on leave to serve as chief of staff of "The Study of the College and University Presidency," financed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The study is to be published soon.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Robb attended Simpson High School, a private prepatory school there, and he was graduated summa cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College with majors in English and mathematics in 1936. At Birmingham-Southern, he served successively as instructor of English, director of the film library, alumni secretary and registrar.

He received the M.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1939 with a major in American literature, then took graduate work at Peabody in 1939-40 in psychology, education and English. He was awarded the Ed.D. by Harvard University in 1952 with emphasis in higher education and administration.

Dr. Robb's educational experience also includes teaching in junior and senior high schools and active participation in the development of educational television. He maintains his classroom connections by teaching at least one course a year at Peabody.

During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy two and a half years, including 16 months in Fleet Air Wing 15 in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. He was discharged as lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Dr. Robb is a civic, educational and religious leader. He is a trustee of Scarritt College for Christian Workers, Methodist-supported institution in Nashville, was chairman of the Tennessee Governor's Conference on Education Beyond the High School, is a member of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Rotary Club, and the Urban Renewal Committee. He has served as a teacher and steward at West End Methodist Church.

Listed in Who's Who in America, Dr. Robb also has been a member of many professional fraternities and organizations, including Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Delta Kappa, the National Educational Association, and American Association of School Administrators. He is a member of the screening committee of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, has served as a member of the national selection committee for Fulbright Awards, and is on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Teacher Education.