New Bearcat Bench memorializes alumnus Bob Dobbs

Family partners with UC to create a place for Bearcats to gather, take photos and score good luck

More than 100 University of Cincinnati alumni, students, family and friends gathered Nov. 6 to remember and memorialize Bob Dobbs, BBA ’76, MBA ’88, with the dedication of UC’s newest on-campus memorial. The extraordinary volunteer leader, who died in 2017, was honored with the dedication of new Bearcat Bench on UC’s MainStreet. 

The memorial features a statue of the iconic Bearcat mascot standing behind a long bench emblazoned with C-Paw logos. This distinctive memorial is located in an open space between the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, the Mantei Center and the Campus Recreation Center. Designed by Virgil Oertle, the Bearcat Bench is a gift from the Dobbs family to the university community.

UC Foundation Board,Robert Dobbs

Bob Dobbs, BBA ’76, MBA ‘88.

One of UC’s most incredible sons, Dobbs was widely known for his unapologetically enthusiastic passion for his university and fellow Bearcats, and for giving back to his alma mater however he could. Throughout the UC community, Dobbs was considered a champion of his alma mater, a visionary leader, a generous philanthropist, and a great friend.

At the dedication, UC Chief Alumni Officer Jennifer Heisey said that Dobbs “checked every Bearcat box.”

“If there was a way he could support his university, he did it,” she said. “If you were a fellow Bearcat, he was your brother — no questions asked. And if you needed someone to make the case, set the example, lead the charge, and move us forward, Bob was your guy. The ripple effects of his life at UC will be felt always. His impact is permanent and ongoing.”

The Dobbs family has also created the Robert E. Dobbs Scholarship Fund. 

The ripple effects of his life at UC will be felt always. His impact is permanent and ongoing.

Jennifer Heisey UC Chief Alumni Officer

Kim Dobbs, BSED ’78, met her husband on a blind date at UC’s Homecoming in 1974. She feels the Bearcat Bench is destined to become one of the most popular photo spots on campus and encouraged everyone in attendance to rub the Bearcat statue’s nose for good luck.

“Like Bob did so naturally and genuinely, the Bearcat Bench will beckon you in,” she said during the dedication ceremony. “It will warm your heart. It will make you feel good to be a Bearcat.”

Dobbs, a member of the first men’s varsity soccer team, supported many varied causes and initiatives at UC, with particular emphasis on his college, UC Athletics and the organizations charged with the university’s advancement. He was a UC Foundation trustee, a president of the UC Alumni Association board, and he and Kim served as co-chairs of the UC Bicentennial Commission.

A stone pylon adjacent to the Bearcat Bench honors Dobbs, with a front-facing plaque offering an overview of his character and contributions, while an inscription on the opposite side hails his love for UC’s signature song, reading: “When the Alma Mater was played at UC games, gatherings and celebrations, no one sang more loudly or proudly than Bob Dobbs — forever one of UC’s most loyal children,” followed by the Alma Mater’s lyrics.

Featured image at top: The Dobbs family. Photo/Joe Fuqua for the UC Foundation. 

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