William Todd Groce was born January 12, 1962, in Portsmouth, Virginia, the first child of William Lenvil Groce and Doris Marie Kitchen. When he was ten years old, his family, which has lived in Virginia since colonial times, moved to Memphis, Tennessee. There he met his future wife, Karen Clifton, and they began dating as seniors at Craigmont High School. After graduation from college in 1984 (he from the University of Memphis, she from Vanderbilt University), Karen and Todd married and moved to Knoxville, where he briefly studied law and eventually earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Groce taught history at the University of Tennessee and Maryville College and was for five years executive director of the East Tennessee Historical Society. In 1995 he was appointed executive director of the Georgia Historical Society and in 2006 he was elected the Society’s 43rd president. He is the author and co-editor of two books on the Civil War era and has published over 100 articles and book reviews. He is a graduate of Leadership Georgia, past president of the Rotary Club of Savannah, and past Governor of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Georgia. In 2023, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed him as one of three commissioners responsible for leading Georgia’s participation in the 250th anniversary of the United States.
Karen and Todd have one child, Katherine “Kate” Virginia Groce, born June 14, 1999. Dr. Groce is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, hiking, and camping. He has hiked every major Civil War battlefield and other battlefields across North America and Europe.
The W. Todd Groce Fund was established in 2005 by the Georgia Historical Society Board of Curators in recognition of Todd’s ten years of service to GHS.