University Library is named for former UT Professor
A relief sculpture of English Professor John C. Hodges was recently installed at the Melrose entrance of Hodges Library. Dr. Hodges taught at UT for 41 years and wrote the Harbrace Handbook, the most widely used college textbook ever printed in America. Hodges Library is named in his honor.
Dr. Hodges joined the University of Tennessee faculty in 1921, and he served as head of the Department of English for more than half of his 41 years at the university. Dr. Hodges was one of the world’s leading authorities on English playwright William Congreve, and he also established and directed a statewide program dedicated to improve the teaching of English in Tennessee schools.
Before his retirement in 1962, Dr. Hodges accepted the appointment as coordinator of the Library Development Program. He remained a volunteer after his retirement and was successful in soliciting substantial gifts to enlarge the university’s library resources. Dr. Hodges also made numerous anonymous gifts to the University Libraries during his lifetime and bestowed generous monetary gifts and his valuable personal collection of William Congreve materials to the university upon his death in 1967.
The six-story, 350,000-square-foot John C. Hodges Library building was constructed around the smaller, five-story, 100,000-square-foot John C. Hodges Undergraduate Library built in 1969. The present building was completed in 1987 and incorporated the collections of the former Undergraduate Library and the former James D. Hoskins Main Library.
The sculpture was a gift to Dr. Hodges from UT’s Office of Development upon his retirement. Mrs. Cornelia Hodges recently gifted the sculpture to the library.