Barbara Billings Hoffman Class of 1967 Endowed Scholarship in Business
The following biography was written at the time of this scholarship establishment; some information may not be up to date:
Barbara Billings Hoffman has been a pioneer of her generation and an inspiration for students of business and budding professionals. She grew up in a small town in western North Carolina, where most of her friends stayed after high school. She received her bachelor of science in secretarial administration from UNC Greensboro in 1967, and her first job was with a textile manufacturing company in the newly created Research Triangle Park. She worked hard, with the hope of moving up in the organization, but faced much resistance in an era when women generally did not have opportunities to become leaders in business. In 1983, Hoffman became an administrative assistant at Glaxo, a small English-based pharmaceutical company that was just opening a U.S.-based operation in Research Triangle Park. There, she developed a computer-based education program, which turned into the largest and most innovative educational delivery system among all providers. In 1995, as Glaxo became Glaxo Wellcome, Hoffman advanced to the role of senior manager of professional affairs, and the newly merged company became the world’s third largest pharmaceutical company. After the company underwent a second merger, becoming GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Hoffman continued to work in the Department of Professional and State Government Affairs, but with a national focus on advocacy organizations and state Medicaid programs. Although she started her career as a secretary, when she retired in 2010, she was a director. She says her upward movement in the company never would have happened without her degree from UNCG. Because moving into a substantial business position was a lifelong goal, which she fulfilled, she wanted to establish a scholarship at UNCG that would help an outstanding and deserving student complete a business degree and go on to a similarly fulfilling career.