Hugh Lanier Farrior '49
Dr. Hugh Farrior's indefatigable humanitarian spirit, nurtured from the time of his birth, has guided his life and his career for more than seventy years.
Born the son of missionary parents in Asia, Hugh learned the necessity for compassion from his earliest days, by observing and working with his elders in the most impoverished regions of China. In his teens, Hugh came to the United States where he attended high school and would follow his older brother John to Davidson.
Before he could begin his college education, however, his country and World War II beckoned. At the end of active duty, he had reached the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and had served as a Naval aviator. After the war, Hugh completed his education at Davidson, where he was a member of the Student Service Corps, and graduated with honors and as a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. Hugh then attended the University of Virginia's medical school and later studied there as a resident in surgery. Shortly afterward he would marry Ellen, and together, just as his parents had done, they would embark on careers as missionaries.
In 1957, Hugh and Ellen worked in the turbulent African Congo, where Ellen taught and ministered to the children of the region and Hugh headed the Presbyterian mission hospital. He was one of fourteen missionary physicians serving over two million people in the Congo during a time of vicious post-independence fighting, severe disease, and rampant starvation. For the next fourteen years, Hugh disregarded his own uneasiness and fear and persisted in treating the many wounds of war, as well as the usual cases of malaria, tuberculosis, dysentery, and malnutrition.
Seeking an alternative to the African boarding school system for their children and wanting to spend time with each of their two daughters, Hugh and Ellen returned to the United States in 1971, where Hugh worked as a physician at Shelby Women's Clinic in North Carolina and later for a Virginia-based health maintenance organization.
As an OB/GYN in Virginia, against convention and with an unusual openness for his profession, he welcomed midwives into the hospital and successfully advocated for them to work there. Only recently have the Farriors retired to Montreat where Hugh and Ellen have immersed themselves in the work of the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church.
Because you are always willing to learn and to accept the newest challenge; because you are an educator, a healer, a husband, and a father; and because you are a fearless and tireless servant of your God, your country, and humankind, the Davidson College Alumni Association honors you, Hugh Lanier Farrior, Class of 1949, and presents you with the John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service on the occasion of the 50th Reunion of your class.