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Former Dean Dame S. Hamby Passes Away

Wilson College Campus

Dr. Dame S. Hamby, who served as dean of the Wilson College of Textiles from 1981 to 1987,  passed away Feb. 27, 2016. He was 95.

During his tenure, Dean Hamby increased private financial support, reorganized the curriculum and forged closer links between the textile industry and NC State. A native of Macon, GA, he began his textile career sweeping floors part time for a Goodyear cotton fiber plant in Georgia. He received a B.S. in textile engineering in 1936 from Auburn University and began work in 1937 at B.F. Goodrich Company in Akron as a textile engineer. In 1943 he moved to the Celanese Corporation of America and returned to B.F. Goodrich in 1947. He received an honorary doctorate from the Philadelphia Wilson College of Textiles and Science (now Philadelphia University) in 1984.

He joined the NC State faculty as a professor in 1948 and in 1956 was named Burlington Industries professor and supervisor of the Quality Control Division in the School of Textiles. In 1965, he was appointed head of the department of textile technology and in 1972, director of textiles extension and continuing education. He became dean in 1981. Following his 1987 retirement from NC State, he remained committed to the college and involved with with textiles, working with Hamby Textile Research Laboratories and as part-time director of the NC Textile Foundation.

During his career with the college he was active in professional associations and elected a fellow of the Textile Institute in England, The American Society for Quality Control, the American Society for Testing and Materials and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was named one of the Outstanding Educators of America, by American Men of Science and was awarded an Outstanding Alumnus Award by the College of Engineering at Auburn University. He was awarded the Institute Medal and Harold DeWitt Smith award. He was a charter member and served as chairman of the Textile Division of the American Society for Quality Control. He was awarded the Burlington Industries Professorship by the NC State.

In addition to his academic responsibilities, he was in demand as a consultant to the textile industries of North and South America. While consulting in the Middle East he was instrumental in the design and construction of the mills to process Egyptian cotton. He was the author of several text books and numerous published articles in the field of textile quality control and statistical analysis of quality data.

He was a director of Tuscarora Yarns Company and an Elder in Milner Presbyterian Church. He was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Estelle Johnson Hamby and two children; a daughter, Barbara Hamby Foell and her husband, D. B. Foell, of Sevierville, TN, and a son, Michael Hamby, his wife Dorothy and son, Scott.

A graveside service will be held at 3 p.m., Thursday, March 3, Raleigh Memorial Park, 7501 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his memory to NC State, Dame and Estelle Hamby Scholarship Fund.