Loyola University Chicago

Office of the President


Remembering Bob Parkinson

Dear Loyola Community,

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Robert (“Bob”) L. Parkinson, Jr., BBA ’73, MBA ’75, chairman of Loyola University Chicago’s Board of Trustees. Bob passed away peacefully after a brief illness early Thursday, December 19, surrounded by his family at home.

A double alumnus of Loyola, Bob’s career and life exemplified our Jesuit ideals of service to others. Bob, together with his wife, Betty, BA ’75, contributed their time, talent, and treasure to their alma mater in innumerable ways. Bob was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2005, and he was named chair in June 2013.

Bob met his wife Betty when they were both students and resident advisors at Loyola. Bob and Betty’s commitment to Loyola has had a transformative impact on all aspects of our University. Their extraordinary philanthropy in a diversity of areas—including student scholarships, academic programs, athletics, and student services—reflects Bob and Betty’s shared passion for Jesuit, Catholic education and for inspiring the next generation of women and men to be of service in our world.

The Parkinson family’s 2018 gift to establish the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health has positioned Loyola as a leader in addressing some of the most urgent issues of our time and will have a lasting impact on lives, families, and communities for generations to come.

A renowned and innovative leader in health care, Bob was the chairman and chief executive officer of Baxter International Inc. from 2004 until 2015. He was dean of the Quinlan School of Business from 2002 to 2004. Previously, Bob had a distinguished 25-year career at Abbott Laboratories, serving a variety of domestic and international management and leadership positions before retiring as President in 2001.

Bob’s love for Loyola and his impact on the entire Loyola community, especially our students, is truly immeasurable. He was an extraordinarily passionate and compassionate servant leader who inspired all of us with his energy, enthusiasm, wisdom, and wit. Bob was our number one Rambler, always attentive to how to enliven our mission to benefit our students and to make Loyola alumni proud. I, along with our extended Loyola family, are heartbroken over his passing. We will miss him deeply.

The University Community will gather for a Mass of Remembrance and celebration of Bob’s life in the Madonna della Strada Chapel at the Lake Shore Campus in the new year.

We gratefully remember Bob, Betty, and the Parkinson family in our prayers.


Jo Ann Rooney, JD, LLM, EdD