Skip to main content

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

The Passing of Robin B. Martin

From the President's Desk

To: The Rensselaer Community
Re: The Passing of Robin B. Martin

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Robin B. Martin, trustee emeritus of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees, on March 21, 2019. An executive in the broadcasting industry who provided wide-ranging support to cultural and educational organizations, he served as an active trustee from 1986 to 2011.

Mr. Martin is the former president and chief executive officer of the Deer River Group, an acquisition and financial consulting firm and owner of commercial radio and television stations and cell telephone towers. During his career, he held a number of executive positions in a publicly traded group broadcasting and retailing enterprise and was special assistant to the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Mr. Martin also served as a staff assistant to President Gerald Ford from 1974 to 1976. 

Mr. Martin earned his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in electrical engineering from Rensselaer in 1971, and a master’s in communication in 1972, and received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from The Corcoran School of Art in 1995. An active Rensselaer volunteer, he was the recipient of the Rensselaer Alumni Association’s Alumni Key Award in 1981, the Albert Fox Demers Medal in 1989, and the Fellows Award in 1990.

Active in consumer, community, and broadcasting organizations, Mr. Martin authored or co-authored numerous publications on the broadcasting industry, and held a commercial pilot license. He served as vice chairman of the board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and chairman of the board of trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the District of Columbia Board of Education and chairman of the board of directors of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority. He also served on the boards of the Washington Hospital Center and the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.

Services for Mr. Martin will be held on Monday, April 8, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Christ Church, Georgetown, 3115 O Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

Our deepest thoughts are with the family of Robin Martin, and we honor the contributions he made to both the Rensselaer community and to the world.