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Community
Alumni

A TRIBUTE TO TOM ROBINSON ‘64 

The Regis Jesuit community mourns the loss of Tom Robinson ’64 who passed away on April 4, 2022. Throughout his distinguished 31-year tenure at Regis Jesuit, Tom served as a faculty member in the math department, coached football, basketball, track and golf, and helped to establish the Diversity Program at the school. He then served on the Regis Jesuit Board of Trustees followed by the Council of Regents after he moved to work as the assistant commissioner at CHSAA. Affectionately referred to as “Coach” to many who knew him, he will forever be remembered for his calm and poised leadership, his dedication and commitment to youth education and athletics and his continual support of Regis Jesuit. Tom at his core was a leader who truly embodied what it means to be with and for Others. His memory will live on in Regis Jesuit!
TRIBUTES TO TOM FROM HIS COLLEAGUES

Sajit Kabadi, Assistant Principal for Ministry, Mission & Diversity

Tom Robinson is simply one of the finest human beings I have ever known.  No one had more of an influence on me in Catholic, Jesuit education than Tom. I joined the Regis Jesuit as a theology teacher in 2000. That first year, I was the club moderator of the student multi-cultural alliance while Tom served as the Diversity Director of the school. Tom really looked after me that first year, becoming my mentor and a confidant for me. We instantly made a connection and became good friends. We shared a love for our faith, family, our culture, basketball, social justice and the Jesuits.
 
Tom always proceeded with tremendous grace, class and integrity. He was always kind with everyone.  He had a wonderful infectious laugh and a tremendous love for his family.

After more three decades at RJHS in 2001, when Tom became an assistant commissioner for CHSAA, I succeeded him as Diversity Director here. At CHSAA, Tom continued to be an activist on issues of social justice and equity. I kept in touch through the years along with him and his wonderful wife Cleo, (who also served on the RJ Board of Trustees and Council of Regents) and their son Malik ‘92, current director of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (CPRDE), which Tom managed for many years, having after co-founded it with Cleo in 1971.  

For several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, CRPDE generously invited RJHS ninth-graders to the Denver Performance Arts Complex to watch an exclusive performance of their Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum, a culturally diverse celebration of the holiday season. 

Tom was beloved and the Regis Jesuit family continues to hold Cleo and Malik close in our hearts.

Jim Broderick King ’87, Director of Ignatian Spirituality & Formation
I had Tom as a math teacher, and while I was good at math, I loathed it. Tom didn’t assuage my dislike of the subject as much as he helped me appreciate why rigorous learning mattered and why difficult things were almost always worth doing.

Tom had a profound impact on me when it came to my own formation as an educator. As colleagues, he continued to show me, regardless of the subjects we each taught, that setting high expectations of students was difficult but necessary – an opportunity to show kids that they were capable of learning hard things and to share in their frustrations and joy. Most of all—whether it was appropriate respect for athletics in a school, being a family man, working toward justice and equity, developing an attitude of compassion—Tom was the person I simply spent time with to learn all of that, and I always felt privileged when he would invite me into any such conversation, often when I felt I didn’t deserve it, or others didn’t expect me.

Syd Timme, English and Physical Education Teacher
Tom took the long view.  When I was frustrated with decisions made by school leaders or the slow pace of change, he would remind me that Regis was bigger than any given moment or any particular person. Tom taught us to persist with patience, hope and love for one another.

Christina Vela, Directory of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Spanish Teacher
Tom Robinson laid the foundation for the work that I am doing today. The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office is leading the field across Jesuit high schools in the U.S. because of the work that Tom did in the early to mid-1990s, a decade or more before the discussion started happening at most Jesuit high schools. Everything that we can do today is because of the foundation that Tom laid in his gentle, kind, respectful, loving, prophetic way.  All that I do in my job today furthers his legacy. He was an incredible role model to me for how to build bridges, create cross-cultural relationships, allow voices to be heard, and, most importantly, treat everyone with respect and dignity. 
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