Warmoth Thomas Gibbs, Sr., was born in Baldwin, Louisiana on April 5, 1892. He earned the A.B. from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, the A.B. in political science and history from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Ed.M. from Harvard University.
As a second lieutenant in the United States Army during World War I, Lt. Gibbs and his unit, the predominantly black 92nd Division Expeditionary Force, saw battle in France in 1917 and 1918 before returning to the States in 1919.
Appointed acting head of A&T immediately following the death of Dr. Bluford in 1955, Dr. Gibbs was officially inaugurated as president of A&T on November 9, 1956. Prior to being president, Dr. Gibbs served the college as teacher, director of the summer school and dean of the School of Education and General Studies. During Dr. Gibbs’ administration, A&T experienced phenomenal growth. The college acquired land to extend the main campus to Market Street and Dudley Street, making it more accessible from the highways. A&T was admitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1959. The guidance center became a separate department, a placement office was established, athletics flourished and coaching staffs were reorganized.
On February 1, 1960, one of the most dramatic events during the Gibbs administration occurred when four freshmen students, Ezell Blair, (Jibreel Khazan) of Greensboro, NC, Franklin McCain of Washington, DC, Joseph McNeil of Wilmington, NC and David Richmond of Greensboro, NC sat down at a segregated lunch counter at the downtown Greensboro Woolworth’s store. This event initiated the sit-ins that were a landmark of the civil rights movement.
History of The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College, a book written by Dr. Gibbs in 1966, records the history of the university from its beginnings as a land grant institution to Dr. Lewis Dowdy’s administration. Copies of this book are located in Bluford Library Archives special collection. It serves as a premier account of A&T history. On May 23, 1960, the role of President Emeritus was bestowed upon him. Dr. Gibbs died at the age of 101 on April 19, 1993.
The Warmoth T. Gibbs Collections is one of the largest in the Bluford Library Special Collections and includes over 30 boxes and his library collection. Dr. Gibbs was appointed as "university archivist" in 1966 by President Lewis C. Dowdy. Gibbss is the earlist A&T faculty member know to have this role, and portions of his Collections are found throughout the archives. His Collection ranges from approx. 1912 to 1993.