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Chairman of Loyola’s Board of Trustees, Former Quinlan School of Business Dean Remembered For Dedication To University

Courtesy of Loyola University ChicagoParkinson died from a "brief illness," Loyola officials said.

Robert L. Parkinson Jr., a double Alumnus, longtime employee and chairman of the Board of Trustees at Loyola, died Dec. 19 at 68 years old, according to an email sent to the Loyola community by Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney.

The former member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees was surrounded by family when he died from a “brief illness,” Rooney said.

Parkinson was the dean of the Quinlan School of Business from 2002 to 2004 before leaving Loyola to become the chairman and chief executive officer of Baxter International Incorporated, a healthcare company, the email said. He served in this role until 2015, according to Rooney.

The Parkinson family was unavailable for comment, according to Sarah Howell, a Loyola spokesperson. 

Rooney said Parkinson played a large role in Loyola’s development before his death. He and his wife — Loyola alumna Elizabeth Parkinson — focused on philanthropy in a number of areas, including student scholarships, academic programs, athletics and student services.

“Bob’s love for Loyola and his impact on the entire Loyola community, especially our students, is truly immeasurable,” Rooney said. “Bob was our number one Rambler, always attentive to how to enliven our mission to benefit our students and to make Loyola alumni proud. I, along with our extended Loyola family, are heartbroken over his passing.”

He returned to Loyola in 2005 after being elected to the Board of Trustees and was later appointed as the chairman of the Board in 2013, Rooney said. 

Parkinson and his wife gave over $20 million to establish the Parkinson School of Health Science and Public Health in 2018, The Phoenix reported.

After receiving his MBA from Loyola in 1975, Parkinson worked at Abbott Laboratories — a medical device company —  for 25 years before retiring as Chief Executive Officer in 2001, according to Rooney.

A Mass of Remembrance will be held in Madonna della Strada Chapel at Lake Shore Campus on an unannounced date in 2020, Rooney said.

Mary Chappell contributed to this report.

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