Former UVa Dean Dies

By: Autria Godfrey Email
By: Autria Godfrey Email

December 26, 2006

80-year-old Robert Haigh set out Saturday afternoon from his home at the Westminster-Canterbury Retirement Village, and when he failed to return home, staff and police began a search.

Tuesday searchers found Haigh's body in a field across from his home on Rt. 250.

"It's a very tragic situation, the residents the staff and I'm sure the board and all people associated with Westminster Canterbury are just devastated at the outcome," Gary Selmeczi, President of Westminster Canterbury said.

Haigh was named Dean of the Darden School of Business in 1980 after several years of teaching at UVa. Those who knew him said his desire to broaden the scope of the university's reach was his legacy.

"He didn't wait long to do some reorganization around the school and laid the groundwork for a lot of the way the school is organized today," Ray Smith, Interim Dean of the Darden School and friend said.

In his final years, Haigh was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease which pulled him from his duties as dean. However; he remained active in the community and with fellow residents of his retirement village.

"He was very much involved with the resident's association and again it;s just going to be a very large loss to this community," Selmeczi said.

"It's always sad to lose a member of the family and that's essentially what he was the the Darden community and to the greater university," Smith said.

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