Dedication of the Robertson Eastern-Gateway Park, October 12, 1997
Dedication of the Robertson Eastern-Gateway Park, October 12, 1997

On Sunday, October 12, 1997, members of the Robertson family, various Salisbury community and government leaders, and interested citizens gathered in a newly constructed park at the corner of East Innes and Depot streets for its dedication as the Robertson Eastern-Gateway Park.

Julian Robertson, Jr. and his late wife, Josie, who were the prime benefactors of the park, attended along with Julian’s sisters, Wyndham Robertson of Chapel Hill and Blanche Bacon of Raleigh. During the dedication ceremony, Julian spoke fondly of his childhood in Salisbury and announced the creation of a foundation that would help the people of Salisbury and serve as a memorial to his parents, Blanche and Julian Robertson. Then on January 2, 1998, the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation opened for business.

  Blanche Robertson was active in the civic and social life of Salisbury, being both a founder and trustee emeritus of the Historic Salisbury Foundation. Charming and witty, she said that shortly after moving to Salisbury, she knew she would never be a real Salisburian, but did one thing for her children, "I borned them Episcopalians and Salisburians." She passed away on December 28, 1993.
  Julian H. Robertson, Sr. was a prominent North Carolina businessman. He was widely known and respected for his leadership in the textile and banking industries, as well as the civic and church life of Salisbury. He was married to Blanche for 62 years. Julian passed away on February 22, 1995.

In the past 23 years, the foundation has awarded more than $39 million in grants to 156 organizations and agencies, whose projects address adult and family issues, education, community health concerns, performance and the visual arts, tutoring and childcare, history and preservation, capital improvement and youth activities. The generosity shown by Julian H. Robertson, Jr. in creating the foundation and acting as its principal donor is unparalleled in our community’s history. The gift and vision of this "son of Salisbury" will benefit this area and its citizens for many years to come.

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