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Payton Memorial Guestbook Entry
I first knew Bob when he was with the Exxon Foundation and continued my relationship with him when he went to Indiana University to launch the Center on Philanthropy. Bob was always challenging both practitioners and scholars to define philanthropy and examine its historical and literary roots. He also demonstrated that philanthropy can be studied and taught and that it was important to professionalize the field of fund raising. Being with him always resulted in an intellectual challenge. He thought and wrote deeply and well about philanthropic traditions and encouraged others to do the same. To this day, I call upon his ideas and language when writing about philanthropy. What an extraordinary legacy. Because of his initiatives, we now have a well-trained and educated population of fund raisers and philanthropists. Programs and courses have sprung up around the country.
I must add, that on top of his seriousness about this American tradition, he was fun to be with. He always had a smile on his face and welcomed everyone into the conversation. I will miss him.
Rita Bornstein, Ph.D., President Emerita & Cornell Professor of Philanthropy & Leadership, Rollins College