Published on January 9, 2012  

Samford alumnus and Howard College of Arts and Sciences dean Hugh C. Bailey '50 has been inducted in the Pi Gamma Mu Hall of Fame.

Pi Gamma Mu is an international honor society dedicated to encouraging and promoting excellence in the social sciences and to upholding the ideals of service and scholarship. Bailey became a member of the organization as an undergraduate student at Samford University in Alabama. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1950 and went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Alabama, in 1951 and 1954, respectively.

Bailey returned to Samford as a history and political science instructor in 1953, working his way up the ranks to assistant professor, associate professor, professor, head of the Department of History and chairman of the Division of Social Sciences, and finally, dean of the Howard College of Arts and Sciences. While there, he became sponsor of the school’s chapter of Pi Gamma Mu.

In 1967, Bailey joined the Pi Gamma Mu Board of Trustees, serving initially as vice chancellor and then chancellor of the southeast region.

Bailey established a chapter of the honor society at Francis Marion College in South Carolina when he was named vice president of academic affairs in 1975, and he did the same when he assumed the role of president of Valdosta State College in 1978. 

In 1984, Bailey was named president of Pi Gamma Mu, serving two three-year terms. Under his leadership, the honor society’s constitution was revised to make it more democratic, reflecting the current structure of having individual chapters elect national officers and regional chancellors. Around this same time, the decision was made to include two student representatives on the organization’s board, and the first efforts were made to computerize the functions of the executive headquarters.

“The Board of Trustees would like to thank you for your dedication to the Alabama Gamma, South Carolina Lambda, and Georgia Theta chapters of Pi Gamma Mu and the many students you have inducted into membership,” Sue Watters, executive director of Pi Gamma Mu, noted in a letter to Bailey, who currently holds the title of Valdosta State University President Emeritus.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.