A wonderful friend of the University

November 2nd, 2014

A close friend and supporter of the University, John Robinson, has died at the age of 53.

An alumnus, honorary graduate and a major benefactor, Mr Robinson enjoyed a long relationship with Nottingham after graduating in 1981 with a degree in Medieval and Modern History.

Following a very successful career in fund management and property development, he supported a range of charitable causes and arts organisations, and also took an active interest in his alma mater.

Mr Robinson served on Council – the University’s governing body — from 2008-2012, and was a member of the Nottingham University Business School Advisory Board. He was a board member for Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, a five-year project aiming to raise £150m for the institution.

Last month saw further evidence of Mr Robinson’s extraordinary generosity when he donated a further £500,000 to the University. This will be used to create an endowment for John Robinson PhD Scholarships in History.

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor, said: “John’s passing was a real shock and is a great sadness. He was a wonderful friend of the University.

“Many members of our community got to know him well through the service he gave and he was liked as well as respected. John’s warmth, wise counsel and friendship will be missed, but his legacy in supporting future generations of graduate students in History will be an enduring one.”

John Mills, President of Council, said: “John valued his time at Nottingham but no more so than we’ve valued his contribution, since not just his time on Council but his wider role in taking the University forward. There’s a sadness that we won’t share that future with him, and we will miss him.”

John Robinson was brought up in Croydon. He came to Nottingham as an undergraduate in 1978 and after graduation joined the accountancy firm Arthur Andersen. He spent four years in London qualifying as a chartered accountant, and gaining Associate status of the Institute of Taxation.

Andersen then sent him to Hong Kong, where he first started in fund management. In 1986 he joined the Thornton Group, and spent time working in San Francisco, Sydney and London. He subsequently joined Tyndalls, a financial institution which was bought in 1989 by Jupiter Asset Management. Mr Robinson managed Jupiter’s overseas business, travelling to Bermuda, Thailand and the Philippines.

Following the conclusion of a deal with Commerzbank in 1999, Mr Robinson set up his own property company, N&R Properties, which turned dilapidated London buildings into desirable residences.

He was also keen to put something back into society, becoming a trustee of the Mary Rose, an Ambassador of the Royal Albert Hall, and a member of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers. He was involved with The University of Nottingham on a number of different levels — not only in its governance as a member of Council, but also his contribution to philanthropic work and his own personal gift for the support of postgraduates in the School of History.

In recognition of his support for the University, Mr Robinson was admitted to the College of Benefactors in 2006.

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