On March 8, Samford alumna Jill Robinson was selected as the 2021 School of the Arts Woman of the Year.
A resident of Nashville, Tennessee, Robinson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic
Design in 1993 at Samford University.
Samford Director of Donor Relations Julie Boyd discussed the criteria for the Woman of the Year award.
“Awardees must be an alumna of the SOA and represent the spirit of the first SOA Woman of the Year (2020), Jenna Cassese,” Boyd said. “The honoree should be a woman of impeccable character, have a distinguished successful career influenced by the arts, be a leader in her chosen field and provide philanthropic support of the Arts at Samford University.”
According to a proclamation written by Dean Joseph Hopkins, Robinson has worked for several nonprofit organizations since beginning her career in 1995.
“In 1997 she contracted with Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA), a statewide not for profit supporting crafts artist guilds in four regions of the state, and LifeWay’s National Baptist Association Collegiate Department, marketing and planning educational programming across the state and nationally,” Hopkins said.
Robinson went on to join Charter Resource Group, offering personal coaching for southeastern CEOs. Robinson then worked for the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in 1999, establishing a volunteer department. In her first two years, the number of annual volunteers expanded from 30 to 350.
Throughout her career, Robinson has been an advocate for women in the workforce and has provided philanthropic support to Samford University through the School of the Arts Catalyst Program.
In 2002, Robinson earned a Masters Degree in Organizational Management at Travecca Nazarene University. In 2004, she completed her MBA.
In 2009, Robinson received the 40 Under 40 Nashville Business Journal award. The following year, she was given the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Nashville Emerging Leaders award for Education. In 2013, Robinson was awarded Young Leader of the Year by the Young Leaders Council.
As a current faculty member at Belmont University, Robinson exemplifies professional leadership.
“She has held many positions of professional leadership in higher education
including director of executive learning and marketing for the Center for Executive Education,
director of external relations and of the Executive Learning Network program, donor relations
manager in the Office of the President and University Advancement, senior university events
coordinator — all at Belmont University,” Hopkins said.
An excellent representative of the Samford community, Robinson was selected from a list of six nominees.
“The School of the Arts is proud to recognize Jill Robinson and her contributions to the higher education. She has taken the lessons learned at Samford and distilled these into opportunities for leadership and influence,” Dean Hopkins said. “Jill Robinson is making the world a better place through her ingenious creativity, a contagious energy, and her determined spirit.”