Special Collections & University Archives

Presidents of Peabody College:
Henry Harrington Hill (1945-1961, 1966-1967)

(Peabody News Bureau Press Release)

Henry Harrington HillDr. Henry Harrington Hill, superintendent of schools in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was unanimously chosen by the Board of Trustees for the presidency of Peabody College at the annual meeting of the board on Thursday, May 10, in the Social-Religious Building.Expressions of general satisfaction followed the announcement of Dr. Hill's election. Speaking for the faculty, staff, and student body, Acting President John E. Brewton said: "The announcement of the selection of Henry H. Hill as president of Peabody College has been received with enthusiastic approval on the campus. We welcome him to Peabody and look to the future with confidence in his leadership."

Chancellor O. C. Carmichael, of Vanderbilt University, who has been closely associated with Dr. Hill in the work of the Problems and Policies Committee of the American Council on Education, said: "I consider Dr. Hill one of the real leaders in American education, with an unusually strong background of training and experience."

Dr. Hill is a a native of North Carolina, as were his two immediate predecessors, Dr. Bruce R. Payne and Dr. Garrison. He was born in Statesville on September 20, 1894, of Scotch-Irish parents, both of whom were teachers with lifelong interests in education. His father devoted most of his life to education, serving for the longest period in his professional career as head of the Statesville Male Academy, one of the classical academies which flourished a generation ago.

The son entered Davidson College in 1910 and was a student there for three years. Later he attended the University of Virginia where he received the A.B. degree and the master's degree in school administration. In 1930 the doctor's degree in secondary education was conferred upon him by Teacher's College, Columbia University, and in 1943 the honorary degree of LL.D. by the University of Pittsburgh.

Throughout his professional life Dr. Hill has demonstrated his capacity for both instructional and administrative work. He has served as instructor in Spanish at the University of Virginia; teacher of Latin and English at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, and later superintendent of schools there for seven years; principal of the Little Rock Junior-Senior High School; state high school supervisor for Arkansas; professor of school administration in the University of Kentucky; superintendent of schools at Lexington, Kentucky; assistant superintendent of schools at St. Louis; dean of the university of University of Kentucky. In addition, he has taught one or more summers at the following universities: Duke, Harvard, Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Utah. He is to lecture for a week at the University of Wisconsin this summer.

Dr. Hill is a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of School Administrators; chairman of the National Commission on Safety Education of the National Education Association; and a member of the Problems and Policies Commission of the American Council on Education. In Pittsburgh he is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, the Community Fund, the Y.M.C.A., the Federation of Social Agencies, the Council of Churches of Christ of Allegheney County, and the Allegheny County Scholarship Association. He is a Phi Delta Kappa, a Rotarian, and a member of the Presbyterian Church.

His writings include chiefly the reports and surveys of which he has been a staff member and a considerable number of magazine articles in the field of public education.

Dr. Hill is no stranger to Peabody campus. He has attended curricular and work shop meetings here and has contributed to both the Peabody Journal of Education and The Peabody Reflector. Mrs. Hill is the former Eloise Wilkes of Durant, Mississippi. A warm welcome awaits them when they come to Nashville.

The meeting of the Peabody Board of Trustees on May 10 was unique in point of attendance, twenty-eight of the thirty-one members being present. Mr. C. R. Clements, vice-chairman, presided in the absence of the chairman, Mr. Ben Morton of Knoxville. All officers of the board and six members were re-elected.