SPARTANBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA—Wofford College is welcoming New York Times best-selling author Sheri Reynolds to its faculty to serve as its John C. Cobb Endowed Chair in the Humanities. She will assume the role this fall.
Reynolds, the author of seven novels, specializes in contemporary Southern fiction.
“Wofford College’s students will benefit from Sheri’s experience as a critically acclaimed and best-selling novelist, gifted storyteller and an expert teacher,” says Dr. Timothy Schmitz, Wofford’s interim provost. “We are thrilled to have Sheri at Wofford and look forward to the impact that she will have in the classroom and across our campus community.”
Reynolds is coming to Wofford from Old Dominion University, where she has served as chair of the English department since 2016. She has received numerous awards, including the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Member.
Reynolds’ 1995 novel “The Rapture of Canaan” was a New York Times bestseller. Her most recent novel, “The Tender Grave,” was published in 2021.
She was a visiting writer at Wofford in 2008 when her novel “A Gracious Plenty” was chosen for reading by incoming first-year students that fall.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Wofford, which is a model for providing an education in the liberal arts,” Reynolds says. “Wofford has a commitment to student success, a strong academic program and impressive students who are creative and hardworking. I can’t wait to join the campus community.”
Reynolds has taught courses focused on creative writing, the craft of fiction, women writers, Southern literature, short stories and the craft of literary nonfiction.
In addition to being a novelist, Reynolds has been recognized for her work as a playwright. Her play “Orabelle’s Wheelbarrow,” led to her winning the Women Playwrights’ Initiative playwrighting competition for Southeastern women playwrights and a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts for playwriting.
Reynolds is a native of Conway, South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Davidson College and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She’s taught at Virginia Commonwealth, The College of William and Mary and Davidson College.
Wofford’s most recent Cobb Chair, George Singleton, retired in 2020.
The John C. Cobb Endowed Chair in the Humanities was established by a $2.5 million gift from Cobb’s sister, Ann Cobb Johnson of Spartanburg. Cobb, a 1976 Wofford graduate, joined the college as a professor of humanities and English 1994. He died in the summer of 2004 in an automobile accident.
Wofford College, established in 1854, is a four-year, residential liberal arts college located in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It offers 27 major fields of study to a student body of 1,775 undergraduates. Nationally known for the strength of its academic program, outstanding faculty, study abroad participation and successful graduates, Wofford is recognized consistently as a “best value” and for its commitment to student success and accessibility for low- and middle-income students. The college community has 12 sororities and fraternities as well as 19 NCAA Division I athletics teams.