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Gregory Robinson, DMin, MDiv, MA
Honorary University Marshal
Gregory Robinson, associate dean for academic administration and resource management, is stepping down after 41 years at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM). How long ago did he begin at UMB? Well, the following year, in 1974, Richard Nixon resigned as U.S. president.
After all those years, don’t say that Robinson is retiring, however. He’s just “transitioning into another arena of service,” turning his part-time work with the United Church of Jesus Christ into a full-time vocation.
“It will include what I now do, but more of it — preaching, Bible teaching, officiating for Holy Communion, weddings, home going services, baptisms, and baby blessings,” he says. “In addition, I will continue pastoral care duties like hospital visitation and premarital and marital counseling. Finally, I will continue teaching courses in ministerial ethics and the writings of A.W. Tozer, to facilitate spiritual development retreats for individuals and groups, and to consult with churches as they develop their ministries. I look forward to having time to focus on my own personal spiritual development through private retreats and spiritual renewal days.”
Robinson’s career at the SOM, which began in 1973 as administrative assistant to Dean John M. Dennis, MD, has covered an unprecedented range of critical administrative responsibilities. They include academic and research administration, fiscal management, space and facilities planning, construction and management, human resource management, and parking and public safety. At various points during his tenure, he managed some or all of these functional areas at the same time.
He also contributed to the overall University, serving on more than 50 UMB committees, advisory boards, and subcommittees, 34 SOM committees and subcommittees, and 24 SOM/UMB search committees. So service isn’t a foreign concept to the man who has friends across the campus.
“Over the years, what I have done in my career and in ministry have complemented each other,” says Robinson, who was ordained in 1999. “Specifically, my work is an outgrowth of my call to ministry, which came before I was ordained. I have a plaque in my office with words written by Jonathan Blocher that reads, ‘LORD JESUS, You know I live in a “two boss world.” Conflicting voices call for my allegiance, but yours is the one I choose to obey. Help me to please you today by upholding your standards, resisting temptation, and faithfully representing you in all I do. I claim the promise of your presence this day as I go about my work. Christ, you are my ultimate authority. AMEN.’I think that says it best.”
Robinson received his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1973 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. After earning a master’s degree in urban planning and policy analysis in 1978 from Morgan State University, he moved into managing facilities planning and construction at the SOM, where he would play an integral role in many important projects, including Medical School Teaching Facility, Allied Health Building, Howard Hall, 108 North Greene St., Health Sciences Facility (HSF) I, HSF II, and now HSF III.
E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, dean of the medical school and UMB’s vice president for medical affairs, said in announcing Robinson’s departure that “one only has to look around the SOM and UMB campus to see Dr. Robinson’s mark on virtually every research building that we have constructed, including the newest one, HSF III. In addition, Dr. Robinson’s mark is seen in his involvement on committees, advisory boards, in major policy discussions, and in his leadership and management. We owe a deep debt of gratitude for everything Dr. Robinson has done.”
Since 1980, in addition to his numerous SOM and University responsibilities, Robinson has served as board member, campaign advisor, faculty, invited speaker, and recently executive committee member for more than 25 national and local organizations, churches, universities, and schools — including the United Church of Jesus Christ, the Monroe R. Saunders School, the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Howard University School of Divinity, the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Maryland Housing Association, and the Abundant Life Community Church, to name a few.
Robinson says he was “surprised and honored” to be chosen as an honorary marshal and he looks forward to the future eagerly. “I see myself as beginning to write another chapter in the book or books of my life, which I trust will be filled with new experiences, new opportunities to serve, and new challenges. That is exciting.”