Reggie Robinson, 63, died on September 19, 2020, in Lawrence, Kansas, at home with his family.
A long-time Kansan, Reggie had an extensive record of public service and philanthropy both in Kansas and nationally. He most recently served as CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation. Prior to that, he was vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, director of KU’s School of Public Affairs and Administration, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents, a faculty member at both the Washburn and KU schools of law, a White House fellow, special assistant to Attorney General Janet Reno, and deputy associate attorney general for the United States.
Reggie was appointed by Gov. Laura Kelly as facilitator for the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission and was a member of several state juvenile justice advisory groups. He was appointed by Kansas attorneys general to the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees, was a member of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet for nine years, and was appointed to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
Reggie’s community service included serving on boards of directors for the Friends of the Spencer Museum of Art, Hall Center for the Humanities, Kansas Leadership Center, Douglas County Community Foundation, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, National Academy of Public Administration, and National Organization for Victims Assistance.
Reggie was a 1975 graduate of Salina High School South and received both his undergraduate degree and juris doctor from the University of Kansas. As an undergraduate, he was student body vice president. In law school, he was editor in chief of the Kansas Law Review. Between college and law school, he served four years as a field artillery officer in the United States Army and was honorably discharged at the rank of captain.
Beyond his remarkable record of public service, Reggie will be remembered for his uncommon kindness, warmth, generosity and decency. Those who knew him will miss his reassuring calmness, his ability to make everyone he engaged with feel special, and his infectious smile – which always shone brightest when he spoke of his daughters.
Reggie is survived by his wife, Jane; two daughters, Paige and Clare (Jason Marshall); mother, Beryl; four brothers, Alphonso (Laurie), Ron (Jeannie), Michael (Wendy), and Danny (Wendy); father- and mother-in-law, Richard and Mary McGarey; six siblings-in-law, Kate (Tom Vasey), Mimi, John, Matt, Clare (Kevin Wallace) and Mark (Kendra); and 23 nieces and nephews.
A scholarship endowment honoring Reggie’s incredible life and his legacy to the University of Kansas is being established, and gifts in his memory can be sent in support of the Reginald L. Robinson Law Scholarship to: KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928, given securely online at kuendowment.org/give or may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.
Service arrangements are pending.