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Lucy Grigsby papers

 Collection — Box: 1-33
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0155

Scope and contents

The Lucy Grigsby papers consist of materials related to the career of Lucy Grigsby from time spent at Atlanta University to her involvement with several organizations. Dates of the materials span 1926 to 1989 with the bulk of the materials dated from 1970 to 1987. The collection includes writings by Grigsby, such as speeches given while she worked at Atlanta University. A major portion of the collection is made up of materials from her career at Atlanta University. It contains correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, and agendas from the Board of Trustees, faculty assembly materials, Three Universities Fellowship Program materials, committees, events, projects, library, and university senate materials. In addition, the collection consists of materials from her work as the secretary of the College Language Association (CLA). These materials include programs, notes, and presentations from conventions, correspondence, CLA publications, meetings, and materials from CLA president Richard Long. Moreover, there are printed and published materials such as newspapers, booklets, programs, and magazines related to Grigsby’s career and interests in the collection. It contains a few photographs from an Atlanta University Board of Trustees meeting and of an individual, Will Scott. Formats of the materials include memos, minutes, reports, agendas, photographs, handwritten minutes and notes, printed materials, and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1926-1989, undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970-1987


Access restrictions

Some materials in the Atlanta University series are restricted due to the nature of the information in them. Restrictions, where applicable, are noted at the series, subseries, or file levels.

Rights statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Biographical note

Lucy Clemmons Grigsby was born in Louisville, Kentucky to Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Clemmons. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and History from Louisville Municipal College, University of Louisville. Grigsby later earned a master’s degree in English from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) in 1941. After graduating from Atlanta University, she became the first student ever offered employment by the University immediately after commencement and joined the faculty in the English department. Grigsby worked for Atlanta University for close to 60 years.

During her time at the University, she served as a professor and chair of the English department. Students nicknamed her “Mother Grigsby.” Additionally, she was chair of the Ceremonials Committee, contributed to the Phylon as well as served as Associate Editor from 1954 to 1998, she was the co-chair of the Committee on the Inauguration of President Luther S. Williams, and served as director of the Three Universities Fellowship Program. Major contributions to the University came from her sixteen years as the Faculty Assembly Representative to the Board of Trustees. She retired from teaching after 46 years and was appointed to the Clark Atlanta University Steering Committee on Consolidation after her retirement. She rejoined the University as University Editor and served in this role for 12 years. Grigsby worked for five of the ten presidents of Atlanta University, three of the eight acting presidents, and the first Clark Atlanta University president.

Outside of Atlanta University, Grigsby was a member of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the long-time secretary of the College Language Association (CLA). She was a member of the First Congregational Church, UCC in Atlanta. She was married to J. Howard Grigsby for 52 years and had one son, Richard H. Grigsby. Grigsby passed in October 1998.

The honors she received through her career include: the first University Trustees’ Excellence in Teaching Award in 1963, Toastmaster International Professor of the Year in the Atlanta University Center in 1977, inaugural recipient of the first Atlanta University Student Government Association Teacher of the Year Award in 1984, and “Distinguished Alumni Award,” from NAFEO in 1987. Additionally, the Board of Trustees granted Grigsby the status of Professor Emerita in 1987. She received a honorary degree of Doctor of Literature at the Charter Day Convocation at Atlanta University in 1988.


16.25 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection is divided into five series, three of which have been further divided into subseries: 1. Writings by Grigsby, 2. Atlanta University, 3. College Language Association Materials, 4. Printed and Published Materials, and 5. Photographs. The contents of the series are arranged alphabetically or chronologically. See series notes for each series for more details.

Related archival collections

Other archival collections related to the Lucy Grigsby papers in the Archives Research Center include the College Language Association collection, the Hugh M. Gloster photograph collection, the Atlanta University Printed and Published Materials, the Rufus E. Clement records, Edward A. Jones papers, John H. Wheeler collection and the Grace Towns Hamilton papers.

Lucy Grigsby Papers, 1926-1989
Finding aid prepared by Brittany Newberry, 2018 June
June 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository


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