Former Inglis Board member Ted Robb never knew his grandmother, who died long before he was born. “I didn’t know anything about her for the first half of my life, although I knew she was a nurse,” says Ted. Then one day, he learned of her portrait at Johns Hopkins Hospital where his grandmother served as the first nursing school superintendent and an innovative pioneer of professional nursing practice. Since then, Ted has learned a lot about his grandmother, who is known as the “Architect of American Nursing.” He thinks of her often, particularly when making decisions. “I wouldn’t want to disappoint her,” he says.
Inspired by her legacy, Ted has been involved with nonprofits for many years as a volunteer, donor and board member. At Inglis, Ted made a bit of history of his own—he was among the first men to serve as a Board member when he joined in 2007. And before that, he guided Inglis through the development of its first off-campus housing community in 1998. “When asked to join the Board, I said ‘yes,’ without a second thought,” he says. “When I worked with former governor Dick Thornburgh, as PA Secretary of Labor, I got to know his son, Peter, who lived with a traumatic brain injury. It was my first real exposure to someone with a serious disability and he made a tremendous impact on me. ”
Ted was also intrigued by Annie Inglis, another woman of his grandmother’s era. “Annie was the birth mother of Inglis,” he says “She was an incredible visionary at a time when the attitude was ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for many with disabilities.” Motivated by his grandmother’s life, Ted feels inspired to uphold Annie’s legacy, which for him means being a member of the Annie Inglis Society, honoring those who include Inglis in their estate plans. With a background that includes heading Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Urban Development, and as a consultant creating housing communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York for low-income residents, Ted was eminently qualified to help Inglis expand its housing developments.
Through his contributions of time and philanthropy, Ted has helped to change the Inglis landscape. When he first joined the Board, he obtained a HUD grant to develop and subsidize rental housing for persons with disabilities. This became Inglis Gardens at Eastwick. “Then, we completed Inglis Gardens at Eastwick II,” says Ted. “It just caught fire after that. It’s a great thing for Inglis and the people we serve and I am very proud of Inglis’ fine reputation in Harrisburg as a provider of high quality affordable, accessible housing.” Ted completed his service on the Inglis Board in 2016. However, he leaves a legacy that will continue to flourish with each new generation enjoying “ability and independence” at Inglis’ housing communities.