Robert Haigh, Former Darden Dean, Dies at 80

December 28, 2006
Dec. 28, 2006 — Robert Haigh, former dean of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, died Dec. 23, 2006. He was 80.

A memorial service for Haigh will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 30, in the First Presbyterian Church. There will be a private committal at the Columbarium at The University of Virginia Cemetery.

Haigh joined the Darden faculty in 1979 as a professor of business administration. He was named dean in September 1980 and was elected Distinguished Professor of Business Administration later that year.

As dean, Haigh is credited with increasing Darden's research efforts, restructuring the dean's office, and expanding the school's fundraising goals. Haigh appointed a committee that laid the groundwork for Darden's eventual physical expansion into the school's current Grounds and facilities.

Haigh served as dean for only 18 months before he stepped down due to ill health and returned to full-time teaching and research. He also served as director of the Tayloe Murphy International Business Studies Center. He retired in 1995.

Prior to joining U.Va., Haigh had been an executive with Swedlow, Inc., Xerox Corp., Standard Oil Company (Ohio), Freeport Minerals Co., and Helmerich & Payne Inc. of Tulsa, Okla.

Haigh was a native of Philadelphia and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bucknell University, which he later served for 25 years as a trustee and from which he received an honorary degree in 1973. He was a Baker Scholar at The Harvard Business School, where he received his master's of business administration with high distinction in 1950. After receiving his MBA, Haigh taught at Harvard while earning a doctor of commercial science degree.

Haigh was active in the First Presbyterian Church, was a director of Horizon Institute, a Charlottesville non-profit organization, and a member of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Editorial Board. He was an avid fan of University of Virginia athletics teams.

Haigh was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Jane Sheble Haigh, and is survived by four children and their spouses and nine grandchildren.