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Interim President's Biography

Hubert L. Grimes, J.D. was appointed Interim President of Bethune-Cookman University in July 2017 by the Board of Trustees to lead the historic university, which was founded by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Prior to his appointment, he served as University Legal Counsel from November 2015 until his appointment in July 2017, and Director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Bethune-Cookman University from 2014 – 2015.

President Grimes

A native of Bartow, Florida, Interim President Grimes earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kentucky State University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia Law School and a Graduate Degree in Practical Theology from International Seminary.

Dr. Grimes’ goals are to restore the fiscal integrity of the institution, strengthen the academic enterprise; enhance governance, and accountability while improving the University’s brand and visibility.

Upon graduating from the University of Georgia in 1980, he became a member of the Georgia Bar. Dr. Grimes received a Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship through the Legal Services Corporation and relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he became a member of the Florida Bar in 1981. The highlight of this Fellowship was the creation of the Central Florida Community Development Corporation in 1982, which continues to operate as a housing and business development entity.

From 1985 to 1988, he was in private legal practice, where his areas of specialty included criminal defense, civil litigation, family, small business, probate, real estate, employment, and administrative law.

During the course of his career, Interim President Grimes gained many years of judicial and higher education teaching experience, as an adjunct professor at Bethune Cookman (1984 -87), the University of Central Florida (1985),  the National Judicial College (Reno, Nevada, 1993 to 1999) and FAMU College of Law(2007 to 2014).

In 1988, Dr. Grimes was elected as the first African-American County Judge in Volusia County’s history and later became the first African American Circuit Judge in the Seventh Judicial Circuit comprised of Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns Counties when he was appointed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 1999. He continued to serve until his retirement from the bench in 2014.

While on the bench, Dr. Grimes was twice elected by his fellow county judges to serve as the President of the Florida Conference of County Court Judges (1994-1998) and also received numerous Florida Supreme Court Committee Appointments. In 2009, he was interviewed and considered for a position as a member of the Florida Supreme Court.

First lady & president

Upon his retirement from the bench in 2014, he was hired to develop the Center for Law and Social Justice at Bethune-Cookman University where he developed public symposiums, workshops, and programs in the area of social justice, including restorative justice training for students and other related areas.

He is the author of numerous published judicial opinions and a frequent writer and motivational speaker for schools, churches, colleges, corporations and community organizations and has demonstrated excellent leadership, lecturing and teaching to both small and large groups.

Interim President Grimes is the recipient of more than 100 national, state and local honors including the Florida Bar Henry Latimer Diversity and Inclusion Award (2015), the Dave Thomas Child Advocate Award (2006), Florida NAACP African American Judicial Pioneers Award (2006), Daytona Beach Community Leadership Award, FAMU Law Percy Luney Spirit of Service Award. He has received the keys to numerous cities in the State of Florida including Key West, Ormond Beach, Palatka, Gainesville, and St. Augustine.

Dr. Grimes is the author of How to Keep Your Child from Going to Jail: Restoring Parental Authority and Developing Successful Youth. His second book, Perspectives: They Can’t Take What You Have Between Your Ears, is in the final stages of development and the third book, Journey to Judgeship, is underway.

He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and the National Bar Association Judicial Council, all while serving as an Associate Pastor and former Elder for Calvary Christian Center of Ormond Beach.

Dr. Grimes is married to Daisy Taylor Grimes and they have four children and four grandchildren.


President's Vision Statement:

Bethune Cookman University will exemplify the faith and values of its founder in educating every generation of students while building bridges of racial and cultural reconciliation, promoting economic and political empowerment as well as the dignity and self-worth of each individual through proper financial stewardship and use of cutting-edge technology.

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