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Hobart Sydney Jarrett
Dr. Hobart Sidney Jarrett was born in 1915 in Arlington, Texas, and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received a scholarship to Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, where he was a member of debate team depicted in the 2007 film The Great Debaters. Following his graduation from Wiley in 1936 with a degree in English, he attended Syracuse University, where he earned a master’s degree in English. Jarrett also received a Rockefeller Award to study at Harvard University, and later returned to Syracuse to complete a doctor of philosophy degree in humanities.
Jarrett’s teaching experience began at Langston University in Oklahoma in 1937, where he served as instructor, associate professor and later chair of Modern Languages Department and dean of personnel. In 1949, he moved to Greensboro, NC, to serve as professor and chair of Humanities Division at Bennett College. During his tenure at Bennett, Jarrett was a member and later president of the Greensboro Citizens Association, a group that served as liaison between students and community members active in the civil rights movement and white merchants in Greensboro. He left Bennett in 1961 to take a position in the Department of English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY), where he served until retirement in 1986.
Jarrett was active in Alpha Phi Alpha for more than 70 years and author of The History of Sigma Pi Phi. He was also the recipient of presidential medals from three American presidents and an active member of the Comus Club of Brooklyn, 100 Black Men of New York City, and Alpha Sigma Boule. Hobart Jarrett died on May 8, 2005.