Marie Robinson and her husband, Bob Robinson, have funded two endowed faculty positions, The Bob and Marie Endowed Professorship in Interpersonal Communication and The Bob and Marie Endowed Professorship in Leadership Communication, and one undergraduate scholarship within the College of Communication & Information Sciences (C&IS). Through this generous gift, Robinson hopes to repay the kindness of others who allowed her the opportunity to study and graduate from The University of Alabama.
The establishment of the two endowed faculty positions will provide the College with faculty stipends to support competitive salaries and research projects.
The Robinsons believe that strong, well-funded academic programs attract a high-quality caliber of students who, over time, succeed and perpetuate the strength and growth of the University. By providing support for these positions, they know students in C&IS will continue to receive innovative instruction and become global leaders in the industry.
“When we first began our giving journey, we were singularly focused on funding scholarships,” Robinson said. “Since then, and as we’ve become better educated about how giving streams run together over time, we’ve diversified our plan to include faculty endowments.”
Marie Robinson graduated from The University of Alabama in 1989 with a B.A. in journalism. She currently serves as the executive vice president and chief supply chain officer for Sysco. Previously, she has held senior executive roles within Capri Holdings, Michael Kors, Toys“R”Us, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Smart and Final Stores, LLC, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Robinson currently serves on the C&IS Board of Visitors and was awarded the Betsy Plank Distinguished Achievement Award in 2018 for her excellent display of leadership in corporate strategy and operations management. She is also the chair of the C&IS Capital Campaign committee.
“It is my personal belief that communication fuels the world,” Robinson said. “If we cannot interact productively with each other, within our homes, communities, and workplaces, how will we come together to improve the human experience?”
Endowed faculty positions and student scholarships are funding priorities for C&IS as part of the Rising Tide Capital Campaign. The Rising Tide Capital Campaign is a University-wide effort to raise a minimum of $1.5 billion in philanthropic support for strategic priorities over a 10-year period. For more information, visit risingtide.ua.edu.