In 1962. Dr. Hobbs became the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from the Department of Foreign Languages at the recently desegregated University of Texas. During this time, she encountered several experiences with racism and was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement, including the housing of the Freedom Riders. In 1966, she helped create and direct the first Texas Women’s Job Corps Center, which provided thousands of underprivileged young women from all over the country with the skills needed to be gainfully employed and good citizens.
In 1972, Hobbs became the first African American elected to the Ithaca College Board of Trustees. She has since had a long and deep relationship with Ithaca College, including establishing the President Shirley M. Collado Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Ithaca College Community and the Dr. Gloria L. Hobbs Endowed Scholarship for Students in the African Diaspora. She was named an honorary trustee and recognized with the college’s Meritorious Service Award. Dr. Hobbs is a charter member of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, the Leadership Council of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Legacy Society of Doctors Without Borders, and a Life Member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. Her commitment to our community and her passion for equity work serve as an inspiration to us all.