Dr. Robyn Arrington stood at the intersection of great professional success and philanthropy.

Jeffrey R. Docking

Adrian College President

July 18, 1944 – April 13, 2020

Dr. Robyn James Arrington, Jr. was born to Dr. Robyn James Arrington, Sr. and Irene Vonciel Mitchell Arrington, R.N. in Detroit, Michigan on July 18, 1944. Robyn was a graduate of Cass Technical High School’s Chem/Bio curriculum. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan in 1966. He finished Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. in 1970. After his internship at Providence Hospital in Washington, D.C., Robyn returned to Detroit and began his residency at Wayne State University affiliated Hospitals in Obstetrics and Gynecology and transferred and completed his residency at Grace Hospitals.

In 1975, Robyn joined his father’s private practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Detroit. His brother, Harold joined the practice in 1976. During his clinical practice, Robyn, Jr. served on the medical staffs of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Detroit, Southwest Detroit Hospital, Kirkwood General Hospital, Highland Park General Hospital and Grayling Michigan Hospital.

Robyn was appointed Medical Director for the Federally Qualified, State Licensed Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Total Health Care, Inc. for Southeast Michigan in 1976. He remained in that position for over 40 years. Additionally, he was appointed Chief Medical Officer for Total Health Choice, Inc., from 1997 to 2010, a State licensed HMO serving southern Florida.

In 1971, Robyn began his career in the Army National Guard in Washington, D.C. He transferred to the Michigan National Guard as a Captain in 1972. In 1981, he was appointed Chief of Professional Services 207th Evacuation Hospital (the largest National Guard hospital in the country); in 1985 he was appointed Commander 207th Evacuation Hospital with the rank of Full Colonel and finally, he was appointed State Surgeon of the Michigan Army National Guard in 1990 and also served as commanding officer of the Michigan National Guard Detroit Light Guard Armory, retiring in 1999.

Dr. Robyn Arrington made a profound impact on Adrian College. Since his graduation in 1966, Dr. Arrington and the Arrington Family have been a part of every major College initiative. From the Caine Student Center Project (old Ridge Gymnasium) to the Shipman Library expansion to countless beautification projects to the Arrington bookstore. He also took part in the renovation and expansion of Peelle Hall during Renaissance II to helping the choir attend a music festival in China. Furthermore, he contributed to the renovation and restoration of historic Downs Hall to the campus security upgrade. 

Dr. Arrington supported efforts for the betterment of Adrian College and the students. Two projects that Dr. Arrington supported that have proved to be catalysts in the “renaissance” of the College are the Arrington Ice Arena and the Arrington Family President’s Scholarship. The Arrington Ice Arena, part of the Renaissance I Campaign, brought ice sports to the College in 2007. Hundreds of students came from California, Vancouver, New Jersey, Texas and from the Midwest because of this facility. The Arrington Ice Arena was a major influencer in growing the enrollment at the College. 

Another major influence was the Arrington Family President’s Scholarship, created in 2009. Dr. Arrington’s scholarship has assisted over 400 students. Each year the College would host the Arrington Scholarship Luncheon where Dr. Arrington could meet the students and hear why they chose to attend AC. The students would also write thank you notes annually to Dr. Arrington and he took great joy in reading the stories of these wonderful students.

Jeffrey R. Docking, current President of Adrian College stated, “Dr. Robyn Arrington stood at the intersection of great professional success and philanthropy. He was a man fully devoted to helping others through the medical profession and then directing his financial success to serve students at Adrian College. He supported hundreds of students with tuition assistance during his years with the College.” 

Robyn was honored by the Howard University College of Medicine as the alumnus who had given the largest donation to the college in its history. He was a proud member of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, a sponsor of the Metropolitan Detroit Teen Conference and served on the Board of the American Red Cross Southeastern Michigan. Robyn was honored to serve a four-year term on the National Advisory Committee for Infant Mortality of the Department of Health and Human Services, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2003.

Robyn loved boating and served as Fleet Surgeon and ultimately Commodore of the former Detroit Boat Club. His endless energy, generosity, and thoughtfulness were definitely put to good use throughout his life. He has earned his final rest, departing this life on April 13, 2020. He was well loved and will be greatly missed.

Dr. Robyn James Arrington is survived by his brother, Dr. Harold M. Arrington; his sister, Dr. Bettye V. Arrington-Martin; his brother-in-law, Hon. Jack Martin; his adopted nephew and nieces, Mr. Randolph W. Martin, Dr. Heidi Martin and Ms. Ingrid E. Martin as well as numerous cousins, friends and colleagues.

Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News from Apr. 17 to Apr. 20, 2020.