Jerry Robbins is going to receive the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions Outstanding Alumni Award in Education at the University of Arkansas’ commencement this May, but before he went to UA he got his foundation in Conway.

Robbins lived in Conway from 1949 to 1960, graduating from Conway High School in 1956 and then Hendrix College in 1960.

"I was fortunate to have outstanding teachers in the Conway schools in the early and mid-1950s and to study under extraordinary faculty members at Hendrix in the late 1950s," he said. "Those educational experiences have served me extremely well in my career. Conway was then — and undoubtedly still is — a great place to ‘grow up.’"

After graduating from Hendrix, Robbins earned a master’s degree in education in 1963 and a doctorate in education in 1966, both from the University of Arkansas in Fayettville.

He began his career in Clinton, Ark., as a math and music teacher. Robbins went on to serve as a high school principal in Missouri, move on to teaching at the college level and then worked for 25 years as the dean of colleges of education at three universities.

Robbins retired in 2004 as dean of the College of Education of Eastern Michigan University. The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education has said that at the time Robbins retired, Eastern Michigan was the largest producer of education personnel in the nation.

During his career, Robbins also served as education dean at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Georgia State University.

Robbins’ education honors including winning the AACTE Volunteer Service Award in 2005. He has held many offices in professional associations and led three institutions through six successful reviews by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. He has written extensively about educational leadership and other education topics and done community volunteer work in education and music.

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