Robert “Bobby” Churn graduated from Petersburg High School and joined the Marine Corps during World War II where he served in Okinawa and China. When he returned he attended Randolph Macon College where he was an all state baseball player and was awarded an outstanding Alumnus Award. He later received a Master’s Degree from U.V.A. Mr. Churn began his teaching career in Waverly, VA and then returned to Petersburg where he was teacher, coach, athletic director, and assistant principal for 18 years at Petersburg High School. He then became principal of Dinwiddie High School and later joined the staff of Richard Bland College where he served for 14 years as Dean of Student Services. He was a devoted educator who always loved “his kids.” Mr. Churn was an Elder of the Second Presbyterian Church, a Rotarian, and member and past CEO of the Petersburg/Colonial Heights SPCA.
Upon his retirement, this article was published in April 21, 1988 issue of The Bon Homme Richard.
"Dean Churn packs up memories; campus contemplates great loss."
By Kanitha Parker
With the school semester coming to a close, students are busily planning for their summer vacations while one man is packing away all his certificates, plaques, pictures and memories. This man is Robert Churn, Dean of Student Services, who will be retiring from the RBC administration this spring.
Dean Churn has served as RBC’s dean of student services for 14 years. Before becoming the dean for RBC, Mr. Churn held administrative positions in the Dinwiddie, Petersburg and Sussex school systems.
Everyone knows Dean Churn will be leaving RBC to retire and will spend his free time “playing golf.” When asked about their views of Dean Churn and the issue of his retirement, here is what was said:
“He’s probably the best buddy any student could have on campus. He really enjoys working with the students. He’s like an older version of us. His leaving will be a loss to the school.” Sophomore-P.D.
“He’s a really great guy. I’ll miss working for and with him.” Staff.
“He cares a lot about people. He’s like one of us. Easy to talk to and always there for you. There’s nothing negative about him. Dean Churn is always doing things for us, like showing afternoon movies, unlocking car doors, free of charge, and cooking CHURN DOGS!” Freshman-B.H.
“Mr. Churn is the sweetest, most wonderful person, supervisor, father around. I’m glad I had this chance to work for him and I’m going to miss him a lot when he’s gone. There will be no replacing Mr. Churn. He is a kind, understanding, patient and fun-loving person who is always there for anyone and everyone.” Administration—J.D.
“I’m going to miss him, too. Who’s going to feed me now?” Campus guard dog—Queenie.
As the saying goes “behind every good man there’s a woman.” Such is the case in the Churn household. The biggest supporter and fan of Dean Churn is the wife of many years, Martha Churn.
When asked how she felt about her husband’s upcoming retirement, she states, “I’m looking forward to it.” Doesn’t this retirement cause her to worry that she will see the Dean too much during the day? “No,” she says, “He’ll probably be out on the golfing green and I’m usually busy with my charity work. Also, we’re expecting our first grandchild near the end of the summer. I’ll make sure he does his share of babysitting.”
Although RBC students, faculty and administration hate to see Dean Churn go, all feel his retirement is “well deserved” because of his devotion to the College, its students and his job.