H-SC President, 1955-1960
Joseph C. Robert was born and reared on the campus of Mississippi State College, where his father was Dean of the School of Agriculture. A 1927 graduate of Furman, he had taken a Ph.D. - the first ever held by a full President of Hampden-Sydney - in American history from Duke. After teaching at Ohio State he returned to Duke in 1938; he became Associate Dean of the Graduate School in 1947, but left in 1952 to become president of Coker College, a women's college in South Carolina.
Coming to Hampden-Sydney in 1955, he immediately began addressing the critical issues of faculty salaries and benefits: within three years he had secured implementation of the retirement scheme, life-insurance plan, and medical insurance coverage; a program of building faculty houses was begun; funds for professional travel were regularly budgeted; and plans for Eggleston Library were drawn.
Dr. Robert resigned in 1960 to accept a professorship at the University of Richmond.