Sybil Collins Mobley
Sybil Collins Mobley (1925-2015), the daughter of Melvin and Cora Collins, was born on October 14, 1925, in Shreveport, Louisiana. Both her mother and father were educators. Mobley graduated from Bishop College, Texas, with a BA in Sociology in 1945. She earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1961. Her graduate studies continued at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where she completed a Ph.D. in Accountancy in 1964. Under Robert K. Mautz’s supervision, she completed her doctoral studies in less than two years, a university record sustained to the present day.
Mobley spent her entire professional career at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), the nation’s third largest historically black university. She began her career at FAMU in 1945 and rose to professor and later department chair after completing her graduate degrees. In 1974, Mobley became the founding Dean of the School of Business and Industry, a position she retained until her retirement in 2003. As Dean, she was a visionary that transformed the lives of thousands of individuals, including students, faculty, and staff. She made accounting central to the school’s mission, implemented a now world-renowned professional development program in leadership, and raised millions for scholarships for promising but underserved students in financial need.
In addition to her activities as Dean, Mobley served as a consultant to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Comptroller General, and as a member of several corporate boards. She also served as an active member of the International Association of Black Business Educators, National Association of Black Accountants, and Alpha Kappa Alpha. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees from Hamilton College and the Universities of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Washington in St. Louis. The building that hosts the business school she helped found now bears her name, and a million-dollar donation established the Mobley Hershey Endowed Chair in her honor. She married James Otis Mobley and had three children: James, Janet, and Melvin. Both she and Otis were pioneers in the Tallahassee Civil Rights movement. Mobley died at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare in the early morning hours of September 29, 2015, after a brief illness. She was 89 years old.
Sybill Collins Mobley is the One Hundred and Ninth member of The Accounting Hall of Fame.