Guide to the Ellen Huckabee Papers, 1924-1979


Ellen Huckabee held a variety of administrative leadership positions during her more than 20 years at the Woman's College, including Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Dean of Undergraduate Instruction. This collection documents Huckabee's career and her strong interest in fostering education in women through travel. Her interest in understanding generational differences and their significance in effectively educating students is highlighted here. Her post-retirement civic participation is captured in her formal statement at a public meeting in 1979 against the proposed East-West Freeway in Durham. The collection ranges in date from 1924-1979.

Collection Details

Record Group
Ellen Huckabee papers
Huckabee, Ellen Harris, 1907-1995
0.5 Linear Feet, 500 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

The papers include correspondence, much of it in conjunction with her interests in students' study abroad; newspaper clippings on a variety of topics, including her promotion to Acting Dean at Duke Woman's College; text from presentations, including her papers on the modern student and on Horace Williams; literature on women's education; photos and official papers from her World War II service as a WAVE and as a member of the Naval Reserve; a sizeable collection of congratulatory cards and letters following her promotion to Acting Dean at the Woman's College at Duke; travel brochures; printed material from the 1961 national AAUW convention; and personal testimony and printed material related to the Durham East-West Freeway controversy.

More Biographical / Historical Info

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Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Ellen Huckabee Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

The "New" Student
Box 1
Box 1
Architecture: Church of St. Aldermanbury
Box 1
Women's Education Materials
Box 1
Correspondence: 1962 Educators Tour
Box 1
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
Box 1
Town and Campus Club
Box 1
Roberta Florence Brinkley Remembrance
Box 1
Junior Year Abroad: European Trip, 1966 (Correspondence)
Box 1
Duke University European Alumni Tour
Box 1
Naval Reserve Service
Box 1
Congratulatory Cards and Letters: Promotion to Acting Dean of Women
Box 1
Literacy Training
Box 1
Durham East-West Freeway Controversy, 1 of 2
Box 1
Durham East-West Freeway Controversy, 2 of 2
Box 1

Historical Note

Biographical/Historical note

After graduating from high school in Albemarle, N.C., Ellen Huckabee attended Duke University, where she received her A.B. (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in 1928 and her A.M. in 1931. While an undergraduate, she was president of the Woman's Student Government Association and a member of Kappa Delta Phi, an honorary educational fraternity. Her first position after receiving her A.B. was Assistant to the Dean of the Woman's College of Duke University. After receiving her A.M., she took a position on the staff of the Dean of Students at the New Jersey College for Women (now Douglass College). She remained there from 1931 to 1937, then returning to Duke in the capacity of Assistant Dean of Women and Counselor of Pegram House. After a year of travel in Central America beginning in 1941, followed by a short stint as Y.M.C.A director in Columbia, S.C., she was commissioned in the Naval Reserves, serving for 3 years before being discharged in 1945 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. That same year she attended summer school at Cambridge and then returned to Duke University Woman's College in the position of Academic Advisor for freshmen and sophomores. In 1945 she became Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Instruction at the Woman's College, rising to Associate Dean in 1950 and to Dean in 1952. She held the latter position until her retirement in 1967, at which time she was also serving as the Acting Dean of the Woman's College. In that same year, she married Luther L. Gobbel. After her retirement, she traveled extensively with her husband, and in 1969 she moved with him to Alabama, where he served a short term as interim president of Athens College. They later retired to Durham. Ellen Huckabee died January 1995.

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The Ellen Huckabee Papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1988, 1989.

Processing Information

Processed by Mike Millner, September 2006

Encoded by Mike Millner, October 2006

Accessions A88-0041, A89-0008 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.