Working with American University has been one of the high points of my career and life."
A 1962 graduate of what was then known as the American University School of Business Administration, Kogod’s career spanned decades in real estate development and management at the Charles E. Smith Companies, where he provided housing for tens of thousands of families, and office and retail space for at least 100,000 workers.
Robert Kogod was an integral part of the development of Crystal City, just across the river from DC in Arlington, VA.
But it is his philanthropic work, alongside that of his wife, Arlene, that has perhaps left the most enduring mark in communities the pair has touched—from tireless work to help young people access education, to their support for museums and the arts.
Today, for instance, visitors to the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery will find the family’s name adorned on the Kogod Courtyard, visited by millions of guests since opening in 2007.
While the Kogods’ impact has been far-reaching, their support of Bob’s alma mater has been unwavering—a fact not lost on guests at his induction.
“There’s no greater gift than to give your time and your treasure to an institution that you love. And you have given both to us,” said Janice Abraham, a member of AU’s Board of Trustees, during a toast at the celebration.
For all of Kogod’s professional and philanthropic achievements, though, it was a more personal attribute that Dean Marchick chose to highlight.
Bob’s focus on excellence—his relentless pursuit of excellence—is matched by one trait: humility."
“I’m really overwhelmed by your words and really moved by this honor,” Kogod said, with a nod to his wife, Arlene: “We’re proudly part of the American University community and deeply appreciate this honor.”
In a fitting tribute, it was Veloric—the original force behind the Hall of Fame itself—who officially bestowed the Hall of Fame honors upon Kogod during the induction ceremony.
A committee of faculty, school leadership, and alumni will select future honorees, with nominations based on achievements in either business or entrepreneurship.
But, in a unique tribute to the inaugural member, it was only fitting for a titan of Robert P. Kogod’s stature to be nominated for excellence in both fields—setting the standard high for future honorees.