Dr. Hugh M. Mills Jr., who served as interim president of Brenau for a year, died last week at age 93. Best known as the founding president of Gainesville Junior College, which is now part of the University of North Georgia, Mills stepped into the Brenau leadership role in 1984 between the 15-year term of Dr. James Rogers and the 20-year-term of Dr. John Burd. Rogers left Brenau to become the executive director of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Mills was buried in Mills Family Cemetery on Webb Girth Road in Gainesville on Aug. 7 following a celebration of life ceremony on the UNG Gainesville campus.
A native of Albany, Georgia, Mills attended North Georgia College (now UNG) in Dahlonega on a basketball scholarship and graduated in 1943. After a World War II medical discharge from the U.S. Army Air Corps, he earned several degrees from the University of Georgia while commencing his long career as a teacher, coach and school administrator. In 1965, when the state Board of regents created the Georgia junior college system, it tapped Mills to head the Gainesville institution, which he served until his retirement in 1983.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make donations in memory of Mills can do so through the Hugh Mills Scholarship Fund, University of North Georgia, P. O. Box 1599, Dahlonega, Georgia, 30533.