After a national search by the University, Robyn S. Hadley, a native of North Carolina, came to the John B. Ervin Scholars Program in February, 2014, following a successful career in the public and private sectors. As a high school senior in the 1980’s, Robyn was offered full scholarships to Harvard, Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. As the first in her family to attend college, Robyn decided to enroll at UNC-- 25 miles from home-- and accepted the prestigious John Motley Morehead Scholarship. Morehead summer internships took her to Dallas, Charlotte, New York City, Los Angeles, China, Korea and Japan, among other places.
At UNC Robyn was a Dean’s List student and involved in various campus and community activities including the NC Fellows Program, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Varsity Women’s Basketball team. She spent the spring semester of her junior year at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Robyn is a 1985 graduate of UNC where she earned a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis. As a college senior, after working towards her childhood goal of becoming an attorney and working in New York City, Robyn was strongly encouraged and supported by her mentors at the Morehead Foundation to apply for the Rhodes Scholarship. In 1985 she enrolled at Oxford University becoming the third African American woman selected for the Rhodes since its inception in 1903. For the next several years she pursued graduate research in Political Science and took advantage of numerous travel and cultural opportunities. After Oxford Robyn spent the next 15+ years working in the field of international trade and business which she learned about during her stay abroad. During this time she continued to work with students and families in understanding and navigating the college application process, namely how to evaluate college and career options and how to apply to and pay for college. In 2004 an opportunity presented itself to return home to NC and to work first as a volunteer, then full-time in the field of education and college access.
Prior to her appointment as Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Ervin Scholars Program, Robyn spent ten years as the Founding Director of the “What’s After High School?” Program, a K-12 college access program, in the Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS) in North Carolina. At ABSS Robyn served as the school system’s: federal GEAR UP grant administrator, AVID Director and administrator for the U.S. Department of Education FAFSA Completion Pilot Project. In 2010, she authored a book, “Within View, Within Reach,” a how-to guide for parents and other adults assisting teenagers in navigating the college application process and she appeared in several news articles and TV shows to discuss the topic. Robyn’s role in starting a faith-based college access program and non-profit, YESICAN, and her work with ABSS and the community were recognized by The White House in 2012 when she was selected as a “Champion of Change.” In recent years, Robyn served as the Chairman of the Board of the UNC General Alumni Association and Founding Board Member of the UNC Light on the Hill Scholarship Society. In May, 2015, she was recognized with the Distinguished Medal of Service by the University of North Carolina and the UNC General Alumni Association.