Building on more than 60 years of community impact
Claiborne Robins established the Robins Foundation in 1957 and significantly funded it at his death in 1995. Mr. Robins and his wife, Lora M. Robins, are best remembered for their transforming gifts to the University of Richmond and their lifelong dedication to making Richmond a better place. The couple’s philanthropy reflected a love for the community and family. Mrs. Robins encouraged this tradition of generosity—through her personal philanthropy and Robins Foundation board service—until her death in 2010. Today’s board, which includes children and grandchildren of the Foundation’s founders, follows their inspiring legacy of philanthropy and grant-making.
Below, vice-chair Frank Robinson shares a touching story about Mrs. Robins’ generous, fun, and attentive nature.
Grooming the next generation of philanthropists
Claiborne Robins, Jr., Ann Carol Robins Marchant and Betty Robins Porter capably led the Robins Foundation’s board of directors consecutively from 1995 until 2012. Under Betty’s tenure, the Foundation constructed the award-winning, LEED Gold–certified Lora McGlasson Robins Family Learning Center for the Partnership for Families, launched the Foundation’s Strategic Partnerships grant program, awarded vital philanthropic investments in the community, and initiated a national search for a new executive director.
Betty and fellow board members diligently prepared the next generation for leadership and governance of the Robins Foundation. Sheryl Robins, who assumed the board presidency in the second quarter of 2012, represents the first third-generation Robins descendant to lead the board.
Within the first few months of Sheryl’s leadership, the board began a period of strategic organizational assessment. During this time, the Foundation adopted guiding principles and the values, vision and mission statements now posted on our site. The board also created deeper understanding of engagement in the Richmond community and a desire to inspire bigger thinking and innovative approaches to the region’s challenges. Sheryl completed her term in 2017. Juliet Shield-Taylor now serves as Chair of the Board of Directors.