Franklin W. Hobbs IV: Hobbs Calls For Harvard To Become Education Leader

The Board of Overseers has its share of lawyers, politicians, entrepreneurs and even writers. But candidate Franklin W. Hobbs IV '69 could add another perspective, that of a medal-winning Olympic athlete.

Hobbs, who rowed crew and played squash while an undergraduate, represented the United States in eight-man crew in the 1968 and 1972 Summer Olympics. The 1972 team brought home the silver medal.

"It was just extraordinary," Hobbs says. "It's an unique experience to represent your country."

When he got home from the Olympics, Hobbs settled into a successful career in the business world. In March he stepped down as chair of the Wall Street investment firm Warburg Dillon Read, after spending his entire career at the firm, working his way up the executive ladder. Most of his career was spent in England.

Hobbs says he believes his experience with the investment firm would serve him well if elected to the Board.

"I think I understand big organizations," Hobbs says. "I've spent lots of time working with multifaceted companies." He also says he has gained a global perspective, working for so long oversees focusing on global finance.

Hobbs says, if elected, he would like to help Harvard lead the discussion on improving K-12 education. He sees this as a critical need for the nation's future and says Harvard is well-positioned to address the issue.

"I'd like to see Harvard as an intellectual leader on how we do [K-12 education] better," Hobbs says.

According to Hobbs, this may just require urging Harvard's 9 schools to pool the "breathtaking resources" of the University.

At Harvard, Hobbs concentrated in American History, writing his honor's thesis on the nineteenth century political cartoonist Thomas Nast. But, he says, his favorite activity while at Harvard was hanging out in the Winthrop House dining hall.

"I really thought the special part of the College was the people I got to attend college with," Hobbs says. "It's the big reason why I've spent time with Harvard since I graduated."

Hobbs has been involved in several ways with Harvard since graduation. He served on the board of the Harvard Club of New York, organizing his class' twenty-fifth reunion, and on the FAS Committee on Resources.

Hobbs grew up in Concord, Mass. as one of four siblings. He is unsure exactly what the future holds for him now that he has retired, although he is sure of some differences.

"I know I'm going to spend more time on things which matter to me," Hobbs says.