VCU School of Social Work
We lost Robert “Bob” Peay (M.S.W.’74/SW) and Robert “Bob” Schneider, Ph.D., less than six months apart
Dear SSW alumni,

As the School of Social Work marked two significant events in recent weeks — celebrations of our scholarship recipients (37 this year) and the school’s fundraising success in VCU’s recently concluded Make It Real Campaign ($3.2 million) — we also paused to remember and give thanks for two longtime school advocates whose influence and efforts are the foundation of such accomplishments.

We lost Robert “Bob” Peay (M.S.W.’74/SW) and Robert “Bob” Schneider, Ph.D., less than six months apart, Bob P. in March and Bob S. in September. The two were known as the Bobs, and they served as faculty members for a collective 61 years, with a 27-year overlap during which they became lifelong friends. They both received the distinguished title of emeritus when they retired.

They were champions of macro social work and worked tirelessly to establish and fundraise for the Social Work Administration, Planning, and Policy Practice Scholarship; this year, three students received the scholarship, which has raised more than $100,000 since its inception in 2004. The photo (above) is from one of their fundraising events, Macro Brew, in 2017.

Bob Schneider was a national figure in gerontology and policy. He co-founded the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work in 1981 and founded Influencing State Policy (later Influencing Social Policy) in 1997 to connect social work students and faculty members to legislative policy and advocacy. His students remember him as a mentor and a professor who made them think more deeply, constantly asking the question (reinforced with buttons he had made): “But why?”

“There is no school of social work in the country that will not automatically recognize [Bob Schneider’s] name and associate it with the service Bob provided,” F. Ellen Netting, Ph.D., a former social work faculty member, said.

“Bob and Bob were passionate about macro practice, and their fundraising efforts for the macro scholarship made them a fantastic team,” Netting continued. “I often think of the years in which our group of SWAPPP faculty were team-teaching together and negotiating where to place students in macro internships. Those were glory days. …”

Indeed. the Bobs are, and will continue to be, missed, as will the other alumni, donors and community partners we have lost in recent years. Their legacy and commitment to the school surely lives on through our students.

To stay connected and informed on happenings at the school, subscribe to our blog, which is updated regularly. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sincerely,

Beth Angell
Beth Angell, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
VCU School of Social Work

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