Robinson Scholarship Fund / Donor: Bill Robinson / Education

An Engineer with the Heart of a Generous Philanthropist

Robinson-Scholarship-Recipients
Robinson Scholarship Recipients (from L to R): Emma Lewis, Ann Osborn, Samantha Burns, Donor Bill Robinson, Garrett Hickey and Drezden Beam. (Not pictured: Shania Williams and Claire Burns.)

Although an engineer by training, Bill certainly has the heart of a generous philanthropist, crediting the Clinton County Foundation with shaping his raw emotion into a scholarship that now helps others succeed.

You’d expect the demeanor of a former IBM Electrical Engineer to be even-keeled, always logical and highly detailed. While those are characteristics that Bill Robinson certainly possesses, he is also quite an emotional guy.

Bill graduated third in his class from Wilmington High School in 1963 with a thirst for additional knowledge, but not the means to acquire it. At the urging of his parents, neither of whom finished high school, and encouragement from several of his WHS teachers, he applied for and was awarded a modest scholarship.

“Upon graduating from WHS, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief—relief that the pressure of final exams, for the last time, would be something to recall rather than something to dread. But I also felt exhilarated at having achieved the class ranking which granted me the Beckett-Harcum scholarship to help with my freshman year of college,” Bill explained. Bill went on to earn his B.S. from the University of Cincinnati and build a successful career in Electrical Engineering.

Upon retirement, he reflected upon his very fortunate life, which was made possible, he says while choking up, “largely to the unconditional love and support from my parents and many of my high school teachers.” It became clear to Bill that he wanted—no, needed—to support students such as himself who had a passion for learning, but few resources. In 2016, with financial modeling and help from the Clinton County Foundation, Bill established a 4-year, $20,000 Robinson scholarship to help WHS seniors, who are also third in their class, further their education. To date, seven students have been awarded this scholarship.

Bill holds a luncheon each year with the new and all past scholarship recipients and speaks with great pride and emotion about their accomplishments–graduating from OSU, becoming a veterinarian, working in Washington, D.C., earning a Master’s in speech pathology. Although an engineer by training, Bill certainly has the heart of a generous philanthropist, crediting the Clinton County Foundation with shaping his raw emotion into a scholarship that now helps others succeed. Bill has come full circle, from receiving his parents’ unconditional love, to developing a successful career, to now being able to financially support today’s aspiring youth.