Dr. Prezell Russell Robinson
Dr. Prezell Robinson
A legendary educator and renowned civic leader, Dr. Prezell Russell Robinson took St. Augustine's College to new heights during his long tenure as its President, and has promoted education on a worldwide stage throughout his prolific career.
grew up as one of nine children in Batesburg, South Carolina.
He earned his high school and junior college degrees at Voorhees College, and served in the US Army during World War II.
After the war, Robinson earned his undergraduate degree at St. Augustine's College, and master's and doctoral degrees at Cornell.
Robinson returned to St. Augustine's as a professor of sociology, and served as executive dean before his appointment as president in 1965.
visionary leadership, St. Augustine's
achieved national recognition and became one of the best colleges of its size in the state.
A successful fundraiser, Robinson
oversaw a twenty-fold increase in the endowment.
In 1988, he
was celebrated by his
peers as one of the most effective college presidents in the nation.
is a powerful champion for education at the state, national, and international levels.
He served as president of the United Negro College Fund and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, and vice chairman of the North Carolina Board of Education.
He served on the board of the International Association of University Presidents, and as a trustee of Voorhees College.
Dr. Robinson held leadership roles within the US Department of State for over 25 years, including US Visiting Lecturer in more than 20 countries.
was appointed as Public Ambassador to the General Assembly of the United Nations by Presidents George H. W. Bush and William Clinton.
An energetic civic servant, Robinson
provided leadership to the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Wachovia Bank of North Carolina
, and as Advancement Chairman of the Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America
He is an active member of the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church Pension Fund.
In recognition of his contributions, Dr. Robinson has received honorary degrees from twelve colleges and universities including Voorhees and St. Augustine's, Shaw University, Cuttington University in Liberia, the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, Columbia University in New York City, and NC State University.
He was a Fulbright Fellow to India in 1965.
He has received myriad awards from civic and governmental bodies, including Liberia's Star of Africa, and the title of President Emeritus from the Board of Trustees of Saint Augustine's College.
was selected by BellSouth
as one of the twelve most outstanding African-American natives of South Carolina in 1998, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of State Boards of Education
Upon Robinson's retirement from the NC Board of Education
, the organization renamed its Challenge Scholars Program in his
R. Robinson Scholars Program encourages high school students to consider careers in education, an enduring tribute to Dr. Robinson's
legacy of leadership in education.