Welcome Center to Be Named After Walter A. Robinson

Walter A. Robinson wall inside the Welcome Center
The Walter A. Robinson wall in the Welcome Center’s digital lounge. (Lanette Bingaman-Rodriguez/UC Davis)

Quick Summary

  • Honoring the late AVC of Enrollment Management
  • ‘Innovative, elegant’ center opened in 2013 under his leadership
  • Naming ceremony will be livestreamed Wednesday, Nov. 10

Welcome to the Walter A. Robinson Welcome Center!

Formerly known, simply, as the Welcome Center, it is being named after the UC Davis enrollment executive who led the center’s development. Robinson died at age 66 in June 2019, nine months after retiring as an associate vice chancellor.


The naming ceremony will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, with everyone invited to watch the livestream. RSVPs are requested by Nov. 9. The event is being held in-person, but attendance is by invitation only to limit the size of the audience during the pandemic.

Robinson started at UC Davis as the executive director of Undergraduate Admissions in 2011 and was elevated to associate vice chancellor in 2015. As AVC, he established and led the Office of Enrollment Management, comprising four main units (Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, University Registrar, and Enrollment Management Analytics), and provided high level administrative oversight for outreach and recruitment programs.

He retired after almost 40 years in student services and admissions in higher education, and is remembered at Davis and elsewhere for his commitment to increasing diversity in enrollment. He is also remembered as the “Random Acts of Kindness King.”

Lounge furniture in room with "UC Davis" on one wall, digital screens on two others
Digital lounge: Watch UC Davis videos while waiting for your tour. (Dawson Diaz/UC Davis)

The ‘front porch’

The Welcome Center officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 26, 2013. “I’m thrilled at the opening of this innovative, elegant space for prospective students, families and guests who visit the campus,” Robinson said.

He noted how the campus’s south entry had come to be known as UC Davis’ new “front door” after construction of the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center (and later the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts), and that, with the Welcome Center’s opening, the front door had a been given a porch, one that “brings the concept of campus hospitality to a new level of excellence.”

The campus tour operation shifted to the new center after previously having been part of the Buehler Alumni Center (originally called the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center), where people waiting for tours would crowd into the lobby.

Assembly room seating
The Presentation Room can seat 135 people. (Dawson Diaz/UC Davis)


The Welcome Center, on the other hand, provides a spacious digital lounge where people can wait while watching UC Davis videos and social media feed. A 135-seat assembly room provides space for pre-tour presentations (these presentations have been suspended during the pandemic, but tours are up and running).

Newly added to the digital lounge: a Walter A. Robinson Welcome Center sign on a wall that also features his photo and a quote: “Pack your parachute and trust it will open when the time comes.”



Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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