Robinson Scholarship honors former head of Industrial Arts

Bill and Walter Robinson
A Sherman, Texas, orthodontist left a bequest to Northwestern State University to establish a scholarship named for his father, a long-time professor at NSU. Dr. William “Bill” Robinson, who graduated from NSU, established the Dr. Walter J. Robinson Endowed Memorial Scholarship that will be presented to a senior level student majoring in engineering technology who is selected on recommendation from department faculty. The scholarship honors Walter Robinson, who served on the faculty of the industrial arts department from 1945-1971, which included a time as department head.

Scott Robinson, grandson of Dr. Walter Robinson and son of Dr. Bill Robinson, said the ideal recipient would be “a student who shows the most promise, not necessarily the highest grade point average, because of their interest and motivation, coupled with a financial need for the scholarship.”

Dr. Walter Robinson and his wife Marguerite lived on Williams Avenue and Scott Robinson said he has many fond memories of visiting Natchitoches as a child, swimming in the Natatorium during the summer and enjoying the Christmas lights on Cane River. Members of First Baptist Church, Dr. Walter Robinson was chairman of the deacons, a Sunday school teacher and a member of the choir. He was also a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner and district governor of Lions International. In 1990, Dr. and Mrs. Walter Robinson moved to Sherman, Texas, to live closer to Dr. Bill Robinson, their only child. Dr. Walter Robinson passed away in 1999.

After completing his undergraduate degree at Northwestern, Dr. Bill Robinson graduated from Baylor University College of Dentistry in 1961 and served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps for three years. Afterwards he completed an orthodontic residency at St. Louis University and began a 37-year career as an orthodontist in Sherman, Texas. He received numerous professional awards and was a frequent guest instructor at the Baylor Department of Orthodontics. He was also involved with church and community and enjoyed supporting Christian ministry. He moved to Dallas in 2014 to live closer to his son and passed away Nov. 21, 2016.

“My Dad played the piano, the trumpet and enjoyed singing in choirs, mostly church choirs,” Scott Robinson said. “His mother, was a music educator and gave private piano lessons in her home. He was a member of the NSU band while he was a student. Being an only child, he was very close to his parents and as a NSU alum, wanted to remember his father who led the Industrial Arts department for many years.”

“On behalf of the NSU Foundation and the students we serve, I thank the Robinson family for celebrating their family’s legacy of service and education by giving back to NSU,” said. NSU Development Officer Jill Bankston. “This gift is also timely for our Department of Engineering Technology, a program that has shown strong growth in recent years and fills workforce needs for regional industry.”

For more information on supporting the NSU Foundation through scholarships or professorships, contact Bankston at (318) 357-4414 or email bankstonj@nsula.edu. Information is also available at northwestenralumni.com.

2 thoughts on “Robinson Scholarship honors former head of Industrial Arts

  1. Will always remember the good old days of Natchitoches American Legion Baseball and “Big Bill” playing first base. He was a cool level headed player with never a bad word about anyone. Always wearing those aviator sunglasses and looking like he should be in the big leagues. Really sad to hear of his passing. Rest in peace Bill.

  2. “Big Bill” Robinson, as coach Tom Elkins called him, was also a good athlete. At 6’4″ he played basketball at Natchitoches High and baseball for the 1955 American Legion team, which was state runner up. His proudest moment was his game winning hit against West Monroe in the Semi Finals. He was a great guy.

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