2021 NBCA Hall of fame Inductee – Lifetime Achievement
Dr. Lorene K. Robinson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the then Delaware State College (now, Delaware State University) in 1977. After graduating, and preceding employment with Delaware State University, Lorene was employed briefly with K-Mart as a manager trainee; the state’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs as a records analyst; Delaware’s Division of Parks and Recreation as a clerk typist, and Independent Newspapers, Inc. as a proofreader and ad compositor.
In 1980, Lorene accepted a newly created position with Delaware State College as the assistant director/editorial of alumni affairs under the transformational leadership and cultivational tutelage of the director, the late Thelma Mosley Blakey ‘52. In her role as assistant director, Lorene’s major responsibilities were the production of a monthly mimeo graphic newsletter and a quarterly alumni magazine, The Echo. Within a brief period, Lorene’s duties were quickly expanded to include managing alumni events and activities, organizing multiple-year class reunions, and managing the maintenance and rental of the University’s alumni house.
Under the subsequent leadership of Alumni Director Dr. Bobby C. Jones ‘69, Lorene was ultimately promoted to the position of associate director, and her duties were further expanded to include overseeing a student alumni group, later converted to a student ambassadors association. She served for six months at the Associate level before leaving Delaware State University, in 1990, to accept a position with Wesley College. At the time of her move, Lorene had served a total of 10 years in the alumni office at Del State.
At Wesley College, Lorene served as Director of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund where she enjoyed managing all aspects of alumni programming and alumni fundraising, including managing successful reunion programs, phone-a-thon fundraisers, working with the alumni association’s board of directors, and overseeing a parents’ association. Furthermore, she successfully chaired Homecoming, Families Day, and a diversity-centric International Festival. She also produced an alumni magazine, Wesley Today.
In 1995, on the heels of an extraordinarily successful tenure at Wesley, Lorene responded to a need to galvanize the alumni program at her alma mater and returned to Delaware State to fill the Director of Alumni Affairs position. She revisited many of her former duties, including managing alumni events, guiding the student ambassadors association, coordinating alumni publications, meetings, reunions, and special expanded initiatives, such as organizing fan centers for away games, chairing the University’s homecoming committee (3 years); class reunion fund drives, reunion events, and other fundraising activities. Additionally, she implemented career and recruitment networks, student philanthropy programs, worked with the national alumni association, and coordinated alumni engagement. Lorene had served in this capacity for 18 years.
In 2014, Lorene transitioned to Director of Donor Relations where she experienced new and heightened levels of service in the Division of Institutional Advancement. At this point, drawing upon 39 years of experience in higher education advancement, Lorene focused on donor engagement, donor acknowledgment through special events, activities, and outreach designed to celebrate and cultivate philanthropic goodwill and donor stewardship. She also assumed ancillary roles and responsibilities as assigned until her retirement on December 1, 2020.
In addition to being a proud DSU alumna, Lorene has a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Wilmington University (1988). In 2019, she also earned the Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Delaware State University, bringing her full circle academically, earning both a bachelor’s and a doctorate from her alma mater. Lorene considers these accomplishments to be testaments to God’s Grace, the support of family and friends, and the unique nature and nurture characteristic of the HBCU experience.
Lorene’s awards and recognitions include being named to Outstanding Young Women of America (1988); Who’s Who of Women Executives (1989-90); and Delaware Outstanding Afro-Americans (1992). She is the recipient of Delaware State University’s Vice President’s Choice Award (2014), and additional service awards presented by alumni and community groups. She is a member of Whatcoat United Methodist Church, Dover, Del.; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Theta Zeta Zeta Chapter; and a Life Member of the Delaware State University Alumni Association.
About serving her alma mater, Lorene says: “I spent four of the best years of my life as an undergraduate at Delaware State. It is for this reason that I was twice compelled to work there. I was blessed to have been employed at my alma mater for a cumulative total of 35 years, which enabled me to serve in an environment amongst people that I loved and appreciated. I have enjoyed lifelong friendships with colleagues, alumni, and professors who touched my life as a student and as a professional; individuals who continue to enrich my life today. I treasure the times and the years that I spent at my beloved alma mater. I pray that any contributions I have been blessed to make have helped to advance an honored mission that enables and empowers students to live their best lives.”