The Jayhawk community lost an incredibly gifted leader and friend when Reggie Robinson died on Sept. 19, 2020. A beloved faculty member and administrator at KU for more than four decades, Robinson leaves a remarkable legacy of public service and leadership.
He was most recently CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation, a position Robinson considered his “dream job.” Prior to that, he served as vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas; director of KU’s School of Public Affairs and Administration; president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents; a faculty member at the Washburn and KU schools of law; chief of staff to Chancellor Robert Hemenway; a White House fellow; special assistant to Attorney General Janet Reno; and U.S. deputy associate attorney general.
Robinson gave back to the community through his service on boards of directors for the Friends of the Spencer Museum of Art, Hall Center for the Humanities, Kansas Leadership Center, Douglas County Community Foundation and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. He was a KU Endowment life trustee and held advisory roles with the KU Alumni Association.
“I was privileged to know Reggie starting with his Jayhawk undergraduate days and throughout his Kansas Board of Regents leadership and work at KU,” said Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment president. “He was even my ‘boss’ when he served on the KU Endowment Board of Trustees. I learned so much from Reggie’s keen intellect, warmth and compassion. He made all Jayhawks proud.”
One of the school’s most accomplished alumni, Robinson earned both his undergraduate and law degrees at KU. The Reginald L. “Reggie” Robinson Law Scholarship was established to benefit academically talented female students who are committed to public service.
So far, more than 330 donors have contributed to the fund including longtime friend Jay Howard and his wife, Julia. Howard has known Robinson since high school, and the two were classmates at KU.
“I am sure recipients of this scholarship will come to appreciate Reggie’s impressive legacy of service and accomplishment. Equally impressive, but harder to convey, is Reggie’s humanity — his warmth, compassion and genuine interest in the well-being of others,” Howard said. “His smile could light up a room and make everyone feel a sense of positivity and joy. The world needs a lot more Reggies. I hope future legal scholars are able to know and embrace the totality of his legacy.”
Robinson leaves behind his wife, Jane, and their two daughters, Clare and Paige. His legacy also lives on in the countless students, colleagues and friends who benefited from his leadership, mentorship and teaching. Memorial gifts can be made to the Reginald L. “Reggie” Robinson Law Scholarship at www.kuendowment.org/Robinson.