The Block celebrates outgoing Board of Advisors Chair Christine O. Robb, welcomes new leadership

During its September 2021 meeting, The Block Museum of Art Board of Advisors celebrated the extraordinary service and leadership of Christine O. Robb (WCAS ’66) (SP WCAS  ’66) (Parent ’93) and welcomed new co-chairs Cheryl Johnson-Odim (WCAS MA ’75, WCAS PhD ’78) and Stuart H. Bohart (WCAS ’89, Parent ’25).

Robb has served as the chair of The Block Board of Advisors since 2006 and has been integral to the museum’s evolution and growth, including her contributions to the 2012 appointment of Lisa Graziose Corrin as The Block’s Ellen Philips Katz Director. Robb’s leadership has also been central to the museum’s surpassing its $26 million fundraising goal as part of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern,  including the establishment of a collective Board of Advisors endowed fund.

“Chris Robb has been an extraordinary friend and ally in championing the crucial role of the art museum in a multi-disciplinary Northwestern education. She has been a trusted sounding board since I arrived at the University, passionately advocating for our work and its impact on faculty and students within the many communities she serves,” said Lisa Corrin.

Christine Olson Robb

Christine Olson Robb is founder of Artists Concepts, a design firm specializing in classic interiors for diverse homes and businesses in Chicago and around the country. In 2019 she became the first woman chair of the Northwestern Alumni Regents. Robb graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. In 1984, Robb co-founded the American Craft Exposition, currently one of the top volunteer-run craft shows in the country. A fundraiser for NorthShore University HealthSystems, the craft exposition has raised more than $4 million for breast and ovarian cancer research.  She also has been a chair of the Northwestern University Women’s Board and a member of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees. She received the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Alumni Service Award in 2007.

The Block Board of Advisors consists of 35 leaders from the worlds of the arts, academia, and business who support and advise the museum’s director. Robb will remain an active member of The Block’s Board of Advisors, while supporting the leadership transition to  new co-chairs to strengthen the museum’s ongoing impact on campus, locally, and nationally. 

“We are honored to welcome two extraordinary leaders to helm our Board of Advisors. Both Cheryl and Stu bring rich experience guiding cultural institutions at the national and international level, and deep insight regarding the role an art museum can play in disseminating knowledge and impacting the student experience. We are grateful that they will be bringing this experience to bear on ensuring that Northwestern’s art museum achieves its full potential in its ability to serve campus and community,” Corrin said.

Cheryl Johnson-Odim

Cheryl Johnson-Odim holds a doctorate in history from Northwestern University. Her former posts have included provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Dominican University (Illinois), dean of the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Columbia College Chicago, chair of the History Department at Loyola University Chicago, and assistant director of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. She has taught at Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago, among others. Her community service is extensive, including serving as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission, vice chair of the Illinois Humanities Council, chair of the Joan Kelly Prize Committee of the American Historical Association, member of the founding board of associate editors of the Journal of Women’s History, member of the board of the African Studies Association, and co-convenor of its Women’s Caucus. She was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement with Friends of the Student Nonviolent (later National) Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in New York, as well as other organizations during that period.

Stu Bohart

Stu Bohart is a partner at FORT Investment Management, a hedge fund employing systematic quantitative strategies for institutional investors.  He has been in the asset management and securities industry for 30+ years and spent most of his career at Morgan Stanley, where he was a division head and a member of the Management Committee.  He has worked and lived in the PRC, Japan, and the UK. Stu is active in charities related to the arts and education; he is chairman emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, a past board member of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum, former vice-chair of NYC Outward Bound Schools, and a past trustee of Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Stu and his wife, Elizabeth, have three daughters and live in Aspen, Colo.

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