Leading up to the UA's 100th Homecoming, we are highlighting UA alumni who are being honored by their colleges with alumni of the year awards.
On an August day in 1976, Melody Robidoux's grandparents dropped her off at the UA's Maricopa Residence Hall. She remembers feeling slightly overwhelmed — and very warm. The campus was far different from her hometown of Flagstaff, Ariz., but her adventure was about to begin.
Photo courtesy of Melody Robidoux
After graduating with a degree in political science, Robidoux completed a Juris Doctorate at the James E. Rogers College of Law, writing for the Arizona Law Review. A few years later, as co-owner and CEO of the Tucson-based technology company Artisoft Inc., Robidoux helped drive and manage its spectacular growth.
In 1990, Robidoux sold her interest in Artisoft and saw this an opportunity to promote societal change.
Using some of the proceeds, she founded the Melody S. Robidoux Foundation, which for 24 years has provided grants to support social justice for women and children, civics education, mental health care, higher education and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.
In 1992, Robidoux co-founded the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona to foster equity and opportunity for women and girls. The foundation has supported programming for literacy, refugee resettlement, legal assistance, housing, financial education, reproductive health care, sexual violence treatment and prevention, and student engagement in schools.
At the UA, Robidoux created the Robidoux Foundation Student Travel Endowment in the School of Government and Public Policy, which provides an opportunity for travel to Washington, D.C.
Also, Robidoux has endowed a history scholarship honoring Professor Richard Cosgrove and a Master Teacher Endowment in the School of Music. In addition, she provided a grant to renovate and create the Melody S. Robidoux Foundation Civil Engagement Room in the Social Sciences Building. Robidoux also supports the James E. Rogers College of Law, the Honors College and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences donor society, the Magellan Circle.
Robidoux has been chosen as Alumna of the Year by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Other UA alumni being honored are:
- Architecture Alumnus of the Year: James Edward Richärd
- Agriculture Alumnus of the Year: P. Andrew 'Andy' Groseta
- Education Alumna of the Year: Colleen Niccum
- Eller Alumna of the Year: Sarah Brown Smallhouse
- Engineering Alumnus of the Year: David Hutchens
- Fine Arts Alumnus of the Year: Jeffrey Haskell
- Honors College Alumnus of the Year: Nick T. Spark
- Humanities Alumnus of the Year: Eric Scott Baker
- Medicine Alumna of the Year: Adele Marie O'Sullivan
- Nursing Alumnus of the Year: Rudy Valenzuela
- Optical Sciences Alumnus of the Year: Jacobus "Jim" Oschmann
- Pharmacy Alumnus of the Year: Kevin Boesen
- Science Alumnus of the Year: Kenneth Krane