In Memory: Augusta Hume ’39

August 17, 2022

By Rob Humphreys ’16MBA

Augusta Hume ’39 (center) at the groundbreaking of the new Hume House Child Development & Student Research Center in February 2016.
Augusta Hume ’39 (center) at the groundbreaking of the new Hume House Child Development & Student Research Center in February 2016.Photo by Scott Cook.

Rollins bids farewell to the woman whose name is synonymous with the only laboratory preschool at a private, four-year liberal arts school in Florida.

With a father who served as Rollins’ librarian in the 1930s, it’s not surprising that reading became a lifelong passion for Augusta Yust Hume ’39—and through decades of philanthropy to the College, she helped generations of preschoolers start their own educational journeys.

Hume, whose name adorns the Hume House Child Development & Student Research Center at the corner of Holt and New York avenues, passed away in April at the age of 104. The Rollins community joined her family and friends, including fellow residents of Winter Park’s Mayflower Retirement Community, for a memorial service on Saturday, August 13.

Hume moved to Winter Park as an early teen when her father, William Frederick Yust, came out of retirement in Rochester, New York, to take the job at Rollins. After attending Winter Park High School, she enrolled at Rollins and majored in theatre arts. On graduation day, she married the late Warren Hume ’39 ’70H, who served in the Navy during World War II and worked for IBM. They had three children and eventually settled in Chappaqua, New York, before retiring to Winter Park in the 1990s.

Augusta Yust Hume ’39’s senior photo; varsity horseback riding team in the 1930s; Augusta and Warren Hume (center) pictured with former presidents Hugh McKean and Jack Critchfield and their wives in 1970.
From left: Augusta Yust Hume ’39’s senior photo; 1937 varsity horseback riding team (Augusta third from left); Augusta and Warren Hume (center) pictured with former presidents Hugh McKean and Jack Critchfield and their wives in 1970.Photo by Courtesy Rollins College Archives.

Throughout their lives, the couple maintained close ties to Rollins, with Warren serving for many years as a trustee and their family foundation supporting multiple areas across campus, from the arts and athletics to the Rollins Annual Fund and community engagement programs.

Starting in the early 1990s, their giving began to focus on what was then called the Child Development Center, or CDC, located in a small house near the Alfond Sports Center.

“Warren and Augusta caught our vision that our CDC was a much bigger program than it looked like,” says Sharon Carnahan, professor of psychology and executive director of the CDC. “We wanted to include children with disabilities, pay summer stipends for camp, pay an applied behavior analyst to work with undergraduates and children, and offer trainings to the community.

“For decades, the Humes provided a steady source of donations that enabled us to accomplish so, so much in outreach, training, staff development, attendance at national conferences, scholarships for children, new playground equipment—you name it. We could begin to do all of the things that make us a vital part of the Rollins campus.”

Augusta Hume ’39 at the groundbreaking of the Hume House Child Development Center.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Today, the Hume House is a state-of-the-art laboratory of the Department of Psychology, creating opportunities for research and learning with undergraduate students, children of all abilities, and faculty of the College. It’s located in a 5,050-square-foot building that opened in 2017, the Hume Family Foundation being the lead donor. The facility serves children between the ages of 2 and 5, inclusive of those with disabilities, with priority enrollment given to Rollins staff, faculty, students, and alumni.

Daughter Chris Hume says giving back to the College came naturally for her parents: They fell in love on campus, Augusta’s father was on staff, and Warren wanted to help others receive the same kind of financial assistance that benefited him as a student.

“The two of them later realized the great need for early education and created their foundation around advancing that goal,” says Chris. “They knew that beginning education at the pre-K level is critical, along with learning to read so one can read to learn.”

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