May 12, 2000

Research building renamed to honor Ann, Ike Robinson

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Dr. Roscoe R. "Ike" Robinson

Research building renamed to honor Ann, Ike Robinson

Vanderbilt's first medical research building, MRB1, will be named in honor of former Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs Dr. Roscoe R. Robinson and his wife, Ann, the Vanderbilt Board of Trust has voted. The building will be renamed the Ann and Roscoe R. Robinson Medical Research Building.

The board's move is in recognition of Robinson's leadership in the planning and construction of MRB1. The name also honors his wife, Ann, who was a partner in Robinson's leadership at VUMC.

Robinson, Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs, Emeritus, said he and his wife, Ann, are "overwhelmed" with the honor.

"It's great to be a part of such a wonderful university and Ann and I are enormously flattered and complimented by this honor. We will continue to watch with eagerness and affection as the medical center rises toward its next plateau," Robinson said.

Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt said that Robinson is most deserving of this honor.

"Ike Robinson is a giant in academic medicine in every way. His contributions to Vanderbilt's mission of teaching, research and patient care are incalculable. And as a national leader in health care, he has few peers. Ike's legacy at Vanderbilt is a medical center that is better, stronger, smarter and more compassionate in every way. He has earned every tribute he receives, and then some."

Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs, echoed those sentiments.

"We're honoring Ike's long interest and involvement in medical research and his leadership in the planning and construction of this building as the first of several buildings on the Medical Center campus dedicated to research," he said. "I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor than Ike and Ann Robinson, for all they did and continue to do for Vanderbilt University Medical Center."

A formal dedication of the renamed building and reception honoring the Robinsons is planned for June 14.

Robinson stepped down as Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs July 1, 1997 after 16 years as vice chancellor. He was honored in March with the 1999 Research!America advocacy award for Sustained Leadership at the National Level. The award honors leaders who have consistently fostered legislation and/or programs that strive to make medical and other health-related research a higher national priority. He is also serving on the National Kidney Foundation Board of Directors for the 2000-2001 term.

Under Robinson's leadership, the medical center experienced phenomenal growth in its clinical and academic enterprises, its physical plant and its financial strength. The medical and nursing school faculties mushroomed from about 500 members in 1981, when Robinson came, to more than 1,000 when he left, constituting a wide spectrum of physicians, nurses, scientists and educators selected to enhance the VUMC missions of high standards in education, research and patient care.

Edward G. Nelson, chairman of the Medical Center Board and chairman of Nelson Capital Corp., said renaming the building for the Robinsons was a suggestion that was met with great enthusiasm by both the medical center and university boards.

"Naming the former MRBI building for Ann and Ike Robinson is a natural and appropriate move. After all, Ike, in his leadership role, was responsible for not only developing MRBI but also other structures we see throughout the medical center. This recognizes Ike's standing in the national medical community. We look forward to seeing the scientists who work in this building continue to sustain Ike and Ann's legacy."