Notes Of Interest

Dr. Tukur Baba was a graduate student of Daryl in the early 1990s. In Tukur’s current online vita, he still includes an excerpt from Daryl’s letter of recommendation from 1993:

“Dr. Muhammad-Baba is exceptionally competent…articulate, intelligent, resourceful and persistent. A person of exceptional maturity and good judgment…highly respected, congenial, respectful of others, well informed and an excellent conversationalist. I always expected that he would someday move into administration or management whether in a University, government or the private sector. I can recommend him without hesitation for any position of responsibility.” (Prof. D. J. Hobbs, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA, 3/18/1993)

Apparently, Daryl was correct. Dr. Baba went on to head the Security Inspectorate Unit at the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, as well as serve as the Director of the Centre for Peace Studies and head the Sociology Department at Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto, Nigeria, where he remains today.

One of the moments in Daryl’s life of which he was so proud was the role he played in bringing Brady and Anne Deaton to the University of Missouri, resulting in a rich Deaton legacy of 24 years’ involvement with MU and culminating with Brady’s retirement as Chancellor in 2013.  As the MU student newspaper, The Maneater, reported :

At the time, the Deatons’ longtime friend, Daryl Hobbs, was a professor of rural sociology. He took it upon himself to persuade the Deatons to join the MU faculty.

“(Hobbs) called me as Brady was being interviewed to come to the University of Missouri, and he said, ‘Anne, you and Brady come to the University of Missouri. It will be great for both of you,’” Anne Deaton said. “Well, that’s the underestimation of our lives. Nothing could’ve been greater than the move to Missouri for both of us.”

Howard Cowden, the founder of Farmland Industries, was probably the person most responsible for enticing Daryl away from taking over his grandfather’s Iowa farm and pursuing an academic career.  It was Cowden who hired him to run the Kansas City “summer camps” for Co-op families across the Midwest  and it was Cowden who brought him up to his office for hot summer discussions about the value of co-ops and the state of the world.  It was Cowden who promised a future job as President of The Co-op College if only Daryl chose not to go back to his grandfather’s farm. Given Cowden’s dream of a Co-op College, it’s only fitting that Daryl helped to realize that dream in launching the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership that continues today.

Howard Cowden (1893 – 1972) believed in big dreams.  Founder of Consumers Cooperative Association, which later became Farmland Industries, Cowden etched on the boardroom wall the motto, “make no little plans, for they have not the power to stir men’s souls.”

Cowden’s dreams also launched the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership (GICL).  Cowden envisioned a school for the development of future cooperative leaders.  He shared his dream with Elmer Kiehl (1916-2004) Dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Kiehl embraced the idea. With seed money from Cowden, he turned to Randall Torgerson in agricultural economics and Daryl Hobbs in rural sociology. Considerable time was devoted to shape and launch the Graduate Institute in 1972.

From the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership

During the 1985 I-70 World Series, Daryl was having 7:00 am Saturday morning breakfast with the Optimist Club at the Midway Truck Stop, when breakfast was interrupted by a writer from Sports Illustrated.  Daryl’s nephews, never overly impressed with his academic credentials, were quite impressed when they saw him quoted in Sports Illustrated. As for Daryl, he got many laughs when he recounted that the magazine’s writer had chosen Midway Truck Stop as the setting for his story, because the writer had assumed that “Midway” was named for its midway location between Kansas City and St. Louis.  Of course Daryl knew the real story––that Midway was named for its location halfway between Columbia and Rocheport––but he hadn’t the heart to tell him.

“The interesting thing about Kansas City and St. Louis is that they look in opposite directions,” says University of Missouri rural sociologist Daryl Hobbs. “St. Louis looks back to the east, Kansas City looks out to the west—and they both look over their shoulder at each other. There’s so little interaction between the two, it’s almost like two separate worlds.”

Even before the Royals-Cards rivalry, the state was never exactly known for its unity. In the Civil War, it provided 110,000 soldiers to the Union and 40,000 to the Confederacy. The St. Louis Browns headed one way in 1953 and the A’s the other in 1967. “If you look at the U.S.,” says Hobbs, “Columbia is where the Corn Belt starts, the South starts, the East starts, the West starts. Really, you can call this the middle of everything.”

In the excitement of establishing the first facility acknowledging Black students at the University of Missouri, Daryl found himself in the role of mentor and mediator.  He often recounted the story about a student who came bursting into his office one day in 1972 pleading with Daryl to, “Make them stop”. The offending action, as Daryl soon learned, was that University maintenance was painting the first Black Culture House white.  In his inimitable way, he picked up the phone, called then University President, Brice Ratchford, who promptly stopped the painting.  And so the first Black Culture House at the University of Missouri was painted, as the organizing students wished, an unoffending light brown.

In 1972, the Black Culture House was established as a haven for Black students at the University. This came as one of the original 11 demands of the Legion of Black Collegians. Located on Turner Avenue, the House provided students with a setting in which they could discuss current issues, socialize, and enhance the understanding of Black culture and history. In 1978, the Black Culture House relocated to 823 Virginia Avenue. With the change of venue also came a change of name. After some debate, the students came to a consensus that “Black Culture Center” (BCC) was a much more dignified and formal name than that of the “Black Culture House.”

From History of the  Gaines/Oldum Black Culture Center

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