Couple to Receive Honorary Degrees at CSU’s Spring Commencement

Dr. C. Thomas Hopkins Jr.COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University will present honorary doctorates to Henry and Joyce Schwob before one of its largest graduating classes during the 2012 spring commencement at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 7 at the Columbus Civic Center.

Columbus State will award 728 degrees at this year’s ceremony: 488 for undergraduates and 240 for graduate students. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. C. Thomas Hopkins, an orthopedic surgeon from Griffin who’s on the state Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia.

The Schwob family’s support of Columbus State has been strong for decades. Family members were among prominent Columbus businessmen and educators who led the push to establish a junior college in Columbus in the 1950s. Henry Schwob was among the charter members of the Columbus College Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1964. Because of generous donations over the years, CSU’s Schwob Memorial Library and the Schwob School of Music bear the family name.

"Without a doubt, the support of Henry and Joyce Schwob has been one of the most important factors in establishing the reputation of Columbus State University as a center of excellence in music and the arts," said Rex Whiddon, Columbus State’s interim vice president for University Advancement. 

A native of Baltimore, Henry C. Schwob graduated from Georgia Military Academy, now Woodward Academy, in Atlanta. After serving two years in the Army in Korea, he earned a BBA in marketing at the University of Georgia.

He began his career in Chicago with Hart Schaffner and Marx menswear, later moving to Columbus to join Schwob Manufacturing and eventually serving as its president. He developed Columbus Square Mall, which was Georgia’s first indoor shopping mall, and helped establish Pine Manor and Oak Manor nursing homes.

He’s served on the boards of First National Bank, First Union Bank, Wachovia Bank, Wells Fargo, Burnham Services Corp., the Medical Center, Columbus Museum and Temple Israel. An avid collector of American art, he now serves on the board of Atlanta’s High Museum and the Anti-Defamation League National Board. He’s president of Schwob Realty and the Schwob Family Foundation.

A Philadelphia native, Joyce Harrison Schwob was a scholarship student at the University of Pennsylvania before earning bachelor and master’s degrees in music from Auburn University.

Under her leadership as president of the board for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, its musicians moved to paid, professional status. She also chaired an international search that resulted in the hiring of George del Gobbo as the orchestra’s music director and conductor.

An accomplished pianist, Joyce Schwob served for several years on the piano faculty of CSU’s Department of Music. She’s performed as a piano soloist with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Marietta Symphony, Columbus Symphony and Columbus College Symphony Orchestra.

She’s served on the boards of the National American Symphony Orchestra League, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Jewish Family and Career Services, William Bremen Museum, The Temple and Greater Atlanta Jewish Federation.  She was awarded the federation’s Woman of Achievement Award in 2001 for co-chairing “Music with a Mission.”

For more information about CSU’s spring 2012 commencement, visit

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Photo: Dr. C. Thomas Hopkins Jr.
(High-resolution original photo)