In memoriam: Walter Robinson

In memoriam: Walter Robinson

Photo Credits: UC DAVIS / COURTESY

Former enrollment leader served UC Davis for seven of his nearly 40-year career in higher education

Walter Robinson, the former leader of Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment Management at UC Davis, passed away at his home in Vallejo on June 9, according to UC Davis Dateline.

Robinson served at UC Davis for seven years and had nearly 40 years of experience in higher education.

He began his time at UC Davis in 2011 as executive director of Undergraduate Admissions. He was elevated to an associate vice chancellor position in 2015 and helped establish the Enrollment Management office, comprised of Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, the University Registrar and Enrollment Management Analytics.

In this role, Robinson sought to recruit a diverse and talented class of students to the university. In the eyes of UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May, he accomplished this through his “accessible and approachable” leadership style.

“Walter worked tirelessly to recruit the brightest minds to UC Davis,” May said via email. “We spent many mornings together at pep rallies in local high school gyms, encouraging students of all backgrounds to apply to UC Davis. Walter was passionate about championing underrepresented students and mentoring them toward great success. I learned so much about the heart of UC Davis’ diverse student body through him. The passion that Walter brought to the university was an energizing and encouraging force for all those who worked around him.”

Provost Ralph J. Hexter further described Robinson’s leadership style.

“Walter’s leadership style was unique,” Hexter said via email. “All the people who worked with him felt that he met them where they were. He was not only approachable and collaborative but his warmth and energy made everyone excited to join him in realizing his vision.”

Though Robinson left the university in 2016 upon his retirement, his legacy continues to echo within the institution.

“His work to recruit and support underserved students, including women and minorities, helped to create a diverse and inclusive environment, where all are welcome,” May said. “This legacy will shine for generations to come. One of our strategic goals is to make UC Davis a model for diversity and inclusion. Through this goal, we will continue the important work that Walter started.”

Before joining the ranks of UC Davis, Robinson had a diverse set of educational experiences. Graduating from Berkeley High School, he attended the College of Alameda before transferring to Fresno State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He then worked at Fresno State upon graduation and continued to work there until 1994, when he began work at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He worked there until 2005, when he became assistant vice chancellor and director of undergraduate admissions at UC Berkeley for six years before coming to UC Davis.

Written by: Kenton Goldsby — campus@theaggie.org