Educator Carolyn L. Mosby was born on March 6, 1937 in Lynchburg, Virginia to Wilbert Lewis Sr. and Nannie Jackson Lewis. Mosby graduated from Dunbar High School in 1954, and received her B.S. degree in mathematics from Virginia Union University in 1958. She later earned her M.A. degree in mathematics from Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland in 1971, and her Ed.D. degree in higher education administration from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1983.
Mosby began her career as an English and Special Education teacher at East High School in Buffalo, New York in 1959. In 1961, she was hired as a mathematics teacher at Blackwell Junior High School in Richmond. Mosby went on to become the first African American teacher at John Marshall High School in 1965, where she taught mathematics and later served as the assistant principal from 1971 to 1973. During that time, she became an Upward Bound mathematics instructor at her alma mater, Virginia Union University. In 1974, she joined the university as an assistant professor of mathematics and director of the learning skills center; and in 1975, she served as the acting director of the general studies department. Mosby became the first academic African American Administrator at John Tyler Community College in 1979, when she was hired to head the Developmental Studies Division and then became Division Chair Mathematics, Science and Allied Health. After eleven years, Mosby retired in 1990; and went on to help start the Community Emergency Response program for the City of Richmond.
Mosby received several awards for her career in academia, including the Excellence in Teaching Award from the math department at Virginia State University in 1999 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Virginia Union University. She was also honored as a community activist and school supporter by Richmond Public Schools, and named Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1970, by the Kiwanis of North Richmond. During the 1970s, Mosby served as a public member of the state health regulatory board, appointed by Governor Linwood Holton. She was a member of the Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, and a longtime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Carolyn L. Mosby was interviewed by The History Makers on January 18, 2018.