Simpson University Remembers Former President Francis Grubbs

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif.—Dr. Francis W. Grubbs, who was president of Simpson University when it relocated to Redding in 1989, passed away Dec. 12 at his home in Nebraska. He was 85.

Dr. Grubbs

Dr. Grubbs served as president of then-Simpson College from 1987 to 1992. He oversaw critical years in the college’s history as its leaders made the decision to move from San Francisco to Redding. The Francis Grubbs Learning Center, one of the first buildings constructed on the new campus, was named for him.

In 2014, Dr. Grubbs returned to campus for the 25th anniversary of Simpson’s move to Redding. He offered the opening prayer at a Community Appreciation Banquet at the Holiday Inn on Oct. 4 and joined former President James M. Grant (1993-2006), former Interim President Len Wallmark (1992-1993), and current President Robin Dummer (2013 to present) for a special reception on campus. Dr. Grubbs also attended Dr. Dummer’s presidential inauguration ceremony on campus in October 2015.

Born in Banner County, Neb., Dr. Grubbs earned a graduate degree in education through the University of South Dakota and a doctorate in administration through the University of Sarasota (Fla.). He served as a minister and consultant to numerous churches, as a high school principal, and then as president of Crown College in Minnesota and Simpson University, both of them colleges of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

Dr. Grubbs and his wife, Peggy, had four children, eight grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. A memorial service was held Dec. 18, 2017, at the Harrisburg Community Church.

(Obituary information from

Four Presidents

From left, former Simpson University President James M. Grant, former Interim President Len Wallmark, President Robin Dummer, and former President Francis Grubbs were together in 2014 for a celebration of the university’s 25th year in Redding.




Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737