Reinhardt’s oldest living alumna turns 100

By Erika Neldner

Reinhardt alumni are spread across the country but some remain right here in our back yard. Marjorie Humphrey Hubbard, Salutatorian of the Class of 1937, made her home in Woodstock with her late husband, Glenn, and daughter, Elaine.

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Reinhardt University President Dr. Kina Mallard enjoyed a recent visit with Marjorie Hubbard, who turned 100 on July 13. Photo by Erika Neldner

Mrs. Hubbard, Reinhardt’s oldest living alumna, celebrated her 100th birthday July 13.

In the 1930s, there were not many job options for women. They could choose one of three things if they wanted to enter the workforce: teacher, nurse or secretary, Mrs. Hubbard recalled.

She chose to educate the young minds in her community

Before receiving her degree from Reinhardt, she embarked on her teaching career instructing a math class for the high school on campus at the request of the Dean.

“A math teacher left for some reason and of course the high school was in with the college at that time,” she said. “The dean asked if I would be willing to take the class and teach it in that man’s place.”

So she taught the high-school level mathematics class when she was still studying in college.

“I had all morning classes that term, and I would go after lunchtime and spend it with that high school math class every Tuesday through Saturday,” she said. “They were a nice group of students.”

Mrs. Hubbard has seen a lot of change in Cherokee County and the Reinhardt campus. She enjoys visiting the campus, where a dormitory is named for her and her late husband. Her daughter, Elaine, brings her to campus every once in a while to drive through and see what is going on. She said she enjoys seeing Reinhardt grow and increase its offerings.

“I think it is great because it increases what it offers and gives more options and more people can take advantage of getting an education,” she said.

While it has been almost 80 years since Mrs. Hubbard left Reinhardt, she moved just a little bit south where she settled with her family. She originally started her career at Etowah School in the Hightower Church area where she made $60 per month. She later moved to New Bethel School and then Woodstock Elementary School.

While both Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard attended Reinhardt (he graduated in 1936), they never really knew each other until the two educators worked together at New Bethel School. They later married in 1940. After the birth of their daughter, Mrs. Hubbard stayed home until Elaine was ready to enter the first grade and they both went back to school at Woodstock Elementary. Mrs. Hubbard stayed there working until her retirement in the mid-1970s.

However, before her retirement, Mrs. Hubbard was able to try her hand at running a school. During World War II, she was named principal at New Bethel by then-Superintendent E.T. Booth. When he asked if she would do it, Mrs. Hubbard said she simply replied with “I will try.”

Teaching has changed over the years, and Mrs. Hubbard said it was much more difficult at the time of her retirement than when she started. Paperwork became a big component of the job. As time has gone on and more regulations have been added to the education profession, she advises current teachers and those going into the profession to make sure they are diligent in achieving the goals they want.

“Teaching was harder work when I retired than when I started. There was more to do. We were covered up with paperwork,” she said, acknowledging that teaching has only gotten tougher over the years. “They should apply themselves to what they are hoping to achieve.”