In 1964, Robert Blue left the farms of his Mound Bayou, Mississippi hometown to pursue his dream of attending college. Today, the 1968 graduate is a living testament to the lasting impact Philander Smith College can have on one's life. "I would have never had an interview with Humble Oil and Refinery Company without the degree and experience I gained at Philander," recalls Blue, now retired and residing in Little Rock with his wife, Carolyn.
Philander Smith College is one of the black colleges supported by the Black College Fund which provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities.
That initial interview would be the catalyst to what would become a successful career at ExxonMobile where Blue worked for over 32 years in the areas of marketing, sales and engineering. He also enlisted in the Arkansas Army National Guard where he served for 30 years before retiring in January 1999. During his service, he worked in a number of military occupations and achieved the highest enlisted rank of Seargeant Major (SGM).
Blue attributes much of his success to the education, skills and values he gained as a student at Philander Smith College. For this reason, he is committed to giving back to the institution that gave him so much. "I like to think of it as paying it forward. It really makes me feel good to know I can help these students reach their dreams."
For more than two decades, Robert Blue has been contributing financially to the College. With the help of matching contributions from the ExxonMobile Education Gift Matching Program, he has been able to leverage his relationship and connection to benefit his alma mater. Though he is consistently one of the College's top annual donors, Blue still challengs himself to do more. His lifetime giving goal" One Million dollars.
Blue's commitment to the College is not only in the form of money, but he also gives generously of his time and talent. In 2015, he was elected to the Philander Smith College Board of Trusteees, and he was the Honorary Co-Chair for the Fourth Annual President's Scholarship Gala. Additionally, he is an active member of the National Alumnni Association and recently chaired the 1968 Class Anniversary.
A lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Blue's drive to give back is in honor of the personal and career success for which Philander Smith College has paved the way. President Roderick L. Smothers, Sr. values the Trustee's zeal and appreciates the example he is setting. "Trustee Blue is dong what we hope every alumnus will do, and that is remembering what Philander Smith College has given him and making sure other young people are afforded the same opportunity and more."
The Philanderian Magazine, Fall 2018
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Black College Fund provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities at 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Black College Fund apportionment at 100 percent.