Robert A. Watkins, Jr., a retired marketing and sales vice president of John E. Seagram and Sons, made his mark as a college and professional football player. He played for the unbeaten 1954 Ohio State team that won the Rose Bowl, and later became one of the first African Americans drafted to play for the Chicago Bears.
Mr. Watkins is active in civic and charitable work, scholarship, and community involvement. He is a business motivational speaker, lecturer, marketing and sales training consultant, and the author of sales training programs and articles.
He recently served as chairperson of the UMass Dartmouth Blue Ribbon Commission on Athletics.
Mr. Watkins is recognized as a scholar in the works of Scottish poet Robert Burns, has spoken on the poet at international meetings, and is a lifetime member of the Irvine Burns Club in Scotland. He is also a student of American history with a special emphasis on the Civil War and the period between 1855 and 1877.
He is a graduate of New Bedford High School and Ohio State University.