Alumnus Served for more than 30 Years in Public Service
Charles Robb ’61 Developed Lifelong Friendships through Chi Phi
Charles “Chuck” Robb ’61 has led a very public life. From marrying Lynda Bird Johnson in the White House in 1967 to serving as lieutenant governor, then governor of Virginia, two terms in the United States Senate and a decade on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, public service has been part of his life for more than 30 years. Now, Chuck enjoys giving back through various commissions and advisory boards and spending time with his grandchildren. “They live near us and come over frequently,” Chuck said. “Lynda and I love it whenever they stop by to see us.”
But before he was a grandfather, a Marine, a senator, and a governor, he was a member of Chi Phi Fraternity. Chuck’s journey as a Chi Phi began at the Xi Chapter at Cornell University. Chuck said that the Cornell Chi Phi house was perched out over a beautiful gorge. When he transferred to the University of Wisconsin at Madison on an NROTC Scholarship he said he fit in immediately with the members at Kappa Chapter. “I developed a number of lasting friendships with Kappa Chapter brothers,” he said. “I’ve kept in touch with many over the years, mostly by exchanging Christmas cards, now more than 50 years after graduation.”
In his senior year, Chuck was the Brigade Commander of all ROTC units on campus and, after receiving his bachelors in business administration degree at graduation, Chuck began active duty with the United States Marines Corps, which included a tour as an infantry company commander in Vietnam. At his 1967 wedding to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter in the White House—the only daughter to be married in the White House in almost 100 years—one of his Kappa brothers was in the wedding and several attended as guests.
Chuck’s career in politics began as class president in high school and as a member of the Student Senate at Wisconsin. But his first major political office was in 1977 when he won the election for lieutenant governor of Virginia, and four years later he won election as Virginia’s 64th governor. After serving as governor, he was elected to represent Virginia in the United States Senate from 1989 to 2001.
Since retiring from the Senate, Chuck has served on a number of advisory boards and commissions, including co-chairing the President’s Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction and the failure of intelligence on Iraqi, as well as the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel appointed by the U.S. Congress. He also served on the FBI Director’s Advisory Board, the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board and on the President’s Foreign Intelligent Advisory Board. In 2001 he joined the faculty at George Mason University as a Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy.
Chuck believes that fraternity life helps young men discover who they are and what they want to do in life. He says his fraternity experience gave him many friendships that he still values to this day. Chuck and Lynda live in McLean, Virginia. Chuck enjoys playing golf, traveling with family and friends, and being a grandfather. E-mail Chuck at email@example.com.
To read past alumni spotlights click the links below.
Fall 2008: Ralph Layman ’77
Fall 2009: Ken Aldridge ’72
Spring 2010: Andrew DeMarco ’90
Spring 2011: Tom Madsen ’78
Fall 2011: John Underwood ’81
Spring 2012: Jeff Langenbach ’90
Spring 2013: Charles Robb ’61