Interim president Henry King Stanford dies

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Henry King Stanford

Henry King Stanford, who served as interim UGA president for one year, died in Americus on New Year’s Day. He was 92. Stanford had retired from a nearly 30-year career as a college president when he agreed to temporarily fill the position vacated by President Fred C. Davison, who died in 2004. Charles Knapp succeeded Stanford, becoming president in July 1987 and serving until 1997. “Henry King Stanford is a real hero of Georgia history,” UGA President Michael F. Adams said. “Though his decades of public service and leadership included only a short time at the University of Georgia, his impact on the institution was substantial. He steered UGA through tumultuous waters, refocused the institution on its core mission, and prepared it for much of the progress made in the years since he was president.” Stanford was president of the University of Miami from 1962 to 1981. He also had been president of Georgia Southwestern College (now Georgia Southwestern State University) in Americus (1948-50), Georgia State College for Women (now Georgia College and State University) in Milledgeville (1953-56) and Birmingham Southern College in Alabama (1957-62). He came to Athens following a federal court trial in which UGA instructor Jan Kemp claimed she had been fired for speaking out against alleged preferential academic treatment for athletics. The jury ruled in Kemp’s favor. In 1987, the Board of Regents bestowed the title of President Emeritus on Stanford, and in 1992 his official portrait was added to the collection of portraits of other former UGA presidents. He is believed to be only the second person to serve in the 20th Century as an interim leader of UGA, which has had 21 permanent presidents in its 224-year history. Stanford, whose wife Ruth died in 2002, is survived by four children: Henry Stanford, Jr., Lowry Stanford, Rhoda Stanford McCabe, and Peyton Stanford, and a sister, Annabell Nickel. A memorial service will be held in Americus later in January.