Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Wofford mourns sudden death of Dr. John C. Cobb

July 2, 2004

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College is mourning the sudden death of Dr. John Cleveland Cobb, a humanities and English professor, who was killed in a single-car accident late Thursday night in Pawley’s Island, S.C.

Services were held on Sunday, July 4, at 4 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg. The family was at the home of his sister, Ann Johnson, 1008 Glendalyn Circle during the weekend. Lanford-Dunbar Funeral Home in Spartanburg is handling the arrangements. (See their Web site,

Cobb, a 1976 Wofford graduate, joined the Wofford English department in 1994. He earned two master’s degrees and his Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

He helped develop and directed the college’s freshman reading program, The Novel Experience, a unique program in which the incoming freshman class reads a selected novel, discusses it over dinner with their humanities classmates in local restaurants, then are able to hear from the author during a convocation on campus.

Cobb was the coordinator of the Wofford humanities program, and also taught in Wofford’s Presidential Seminar for several years. The Presidential Seminar is for graduating seniors distinguished for their academic achievement and contributions to the college community.

Last fall, Cobb presented a paper, titled “’Henry V’ and Historical Imagination: A Case for the Chorus,” at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association. He served as Renaissance Chair for the organization. He also served as a panelist for the Shakespeare Festival at Converse College and as the outside evaluator for the department of English at Catawba College.

He was a member of a local band, “The 88s.”

Cobb was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Spartanburg, where he was a frequent lector.

Memorials may be made to the Dr. John C. Cobb Fund, c/o Development Office, Wofford College, 429 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303.