November 17, 2022

Ike and Ann Robinson Society reception celebrates founding members

The Ike and Ann Robinson Society Reception celebrated the generosity of Medical Center leaders committed to leaving a legacy at VUMC. L-R: Jeffrey Upperman, MD; Anne Marie Tharpe, PhD; Paul Sternberg Jr., MD; Jeff Balser, MD, PhD. Photo by Susan Urmy

Clinical, research and staff leaders who have made generous philanthropic contributions to Vanderbilt University Medical Center were celebrated at the inaugural Ike and Ann Robinson Society reception on Nov. 1.

Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, welcomed and thanked the founding members.

“VUMC is an organization at the forefront in health care and biomedical science because of you. To rise to the top, and remain there, it takes cutting-edge innovation and scholarship – and it also takes robust philanthropy,” he said.

Named in honor of Roscoe “Ike” Robinson and his wife, Ann Allen Robinson, the society recognizes employees of VUMC who have made gifts of $25,000 or more since 2017, or who have included the Medical Center in their estate plans.

Robinson served as vice chancellor for health affairs from 1981 until 1997. He and Ann were longtime supporters of Vanderbilt and the Medical Center.

Founding members also heard personal giving reflections from Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and chair of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. “Philanthropy fuels our ability to transcend where we are as a Medical Center. It opens doors to make new discoveries, solve vexing problems, support young talent, and protect time for education and mentoring,” said Sternberg.

A video testimony from Anne Marie Tharpe, PhD, chair of the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences shared her rationale for creating the James M. Tharpe Fund for Pediatric Communication Disorders. The fund will be established through wills from Tharpe and her husband, Jim Kramka, in honor of her late father.

To learn more about the Ike and Ann Robinson Society, contact Vice President for Development Chris Collins in Vanderbilt University Medical Center Development.