Blue and Gold - Fall 2021 | Winter 2022 Volume 2 - Issue 2 - Page 82

William Bernard Robertson , Classes of 1954 and 1956 , passed away this summer . He was 88 .

William B . Robertson distinguished alumnus

William Bernard Robertson , Classes of 1954 and 1956 , passed away this summer . He was 88 .
In this photo from 2019 , William Robertson , center , stands with Bluefield State College Board of Governors chair Rev . Garry Moore ( left ) and President Robin Capehart ( right ).
Robertson was among Bluefield State ’ s most accomplished alumni .
A native of Roanoke , VA , Robertson graduated with a degree in secondary education in 1954 . He then added a degree in elementary education in 1956 .
Robertson became a political trailblazer when then-Virginia Governor Linwood Holton appointed him to his staff in 1970 .
He was the first African-American to serve in a decision-making capacity for any southern governor since Reconstruction .
During that time , he negotiated successfully endings to a prison revolt at Virginia State Penintentiary and a hostage taking at Southwestern State Hospital .
Robertson built a career with the U . S . Department of State .
82 BLUE AND GOLD