Sweet Briar professor emerita Maxine Garner died Friday, March 8, 2013, in her native Liberty, N.C., where she retired in 1984. She was born March 15, 1919, in Alamance County, N.C.
Garner is a 1939 graduate of the Woman’s College at the University of North Carolina, where she edited the student newspaper and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduation, Garner taught English and journalism in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., and worked as assistant editor of the Biblical Recorder in Raleigh, N.C., but soon returned to her alma mater as director of religious activities.
Attending Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in New York, Garner completed her master’s degree in 1946. From 1950 to 1952, she was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where she earned her Ph.D. Garner then taught for six years at Meredith College in Raleigh and was a deacon at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.
In 1957, Garner began a 26-year term teaching at Sweet Briar, becoming the Wallace E. Rollins Professor of Religion. The graduating class of 1983 made her an honorary member of their class. Garner was speaker at opening Convocation in 1983.