As a thirteen-year-old, Robert Blackwell came to Ashland on a railroad handcar to begin his education, and his seventy year association with Randolph-Macon College. In 1876, he became Randolph-Macon’s English professor. In 1902, the trustees of the college appointed him president, an office that he held until his death in 1938. He was a proper, kind gentleman whose personal philosophy of dignity of all people influenced generations of Randolph-Macon students and Ashlanders.