Julius Isaac Foust, son of Thomas Carbry and Mary E. Robbins Foust, was born November 23, 1865, in Graham, North Carolina. After attending Graham Academy and Graham Normal School, he entered the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1885. He received his Ph.B. (Bachelor of Philosophy) in 1890 and was later awarded an honory degree of Doctor of Laws in English from the same institution.
Foust began his career as principal of the Goldsboro schools and later became superintendent of the Wilson schools (1891-1894) and of the Goldsboro schools (1894-1902). In 1902, he became a professor of pedagogy at the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial College. After Charles Duncan McIver‘s death in 1906, Foust became acting president of the College. The following year he was made president, serving in that capacity until 1934 when he became president emeritus of the College. He died at Lakeland, Florida, February 15, 1946.
During his long and esteemed career, Foust served as president of the North Carolina Association of City School Superintendents, president of the North Carolina Teachers Assembly, president of the North Carolina Association of Colleges, and a member of the Board of Directors of the A and M College (now North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.) He was also the author of a textbook on the geography of North Carolina and co-author of a spelling book.
Foust remains the longest-serving administrative leader in UNCG’s history. In 1960, the Main Building—the only remaining structure from the school’s founding year — was renamed in his memory.