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Robert Winterberg

Robert Winterberg, one of Pacific's most pivotal financial vice presidents, passed away on Monday, July 20, at age 87. His life and contributions will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 2, in Morris Chapel.

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Robert Winterberg extended Pacific's footprint to Sacramento, San Francisco

Jul 29, 2015

Robert Rodney "Bob" Winterberg '51 died peacefully surrounded by family on July 20, 2015. He was 87.

Winterberg served nearly 40 years under three University presidents, moving through the ranks from assistant business manager to financial vice president, a position he held for 26 years. Winterberg shepherded the University's financial stability during a period of unprecedented growth, and was instrumental in the mergers that extended the University's footprint into San Francisco and Sacramento.

"Bob was a dedicated and generous alumnus and University leader who made tremendous contributions to Pacific and to the Stockton community, including conceiving our iconic Burns Tower and being instrumental in the establishment of our three-city presence," said President Pamela Eibeck. "We are saddened to lose such an important friend of the University and a significant part of our history."

Winterberg earned his bachelor's in business administration at Pacific. He was a member of Alpha Kappa Lambda and was named to Omicron Kappa Upsilon Honor Society. He was first hired at Pacific in 1950 as an assistant business manager while he was still completing his degree. He left Pacific from 1952-1955 when he served a tour in the U.S. Army and he returned following his discharge. He held increasing roles of responsibility and served as financial vice president from 1963 until his retirement in 1989.

During his nearly 40 years at Pacific, the University grew from an enrollment of 887 students on one campus to a total of more than 5,200 students on three campuses. The annual budget grew from $840 thousand in 1950 to more than $100 million, and the University's physical plant grew in value from just over $4 million in 1950 to over $150 million at the time of his retirement in 1989.

Winterberg was instrumental in Pacific's merger with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, now the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, and the acquisition of its new facilities on Webster Street, which expanded the University's footprint into San Francisco. He also oversaw the merger with McGeorge School of Law and the building out of what is now the Sacramento Campus. 

Other developments under his leadership included the three cluster colleges-- Raymond, Covell and Callison; the purchase and renovation of the Stockton College property (now Pacific's south campus); construction of Grace Covell Hall, the Robert E. Burns Tower (it was his idea to incorporate the water tower into the building), the Wendell Phillips Center and the Alex G. Spanos Center; the renovation of the Conservatory of Music; the William Knox Holt Memorial Library addition; and the purchase of the Townhouse Apartments on Pershing and Brookside.

"Bob's managing of University finances was a huge challenge in an era of unprecedented growth in the University," said Pacific historian and provost emeritus Phil Gilbertson. "No other vice president for business and finance oversaw such massive growth of the University, both in enrollment and facilities, as did Bob Winterberg."

He was active in both professional and community leadership, including serving as past president of the Western Association of College and University Business Officers and on the board of directors for the National Association of College and University Business Officers. His involvement with Rotary International included serving as president of the North Stockton Rotary Club, as district governor and on the international budget finance committee. He was a 32nd Degree Master Mason and an honorary trustee for the Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. 

In 1968, Winterberg received an honorary doctorate of business administration from Ohio Northern University. The Winterberg family received the Outstanding Family Award from the Pacific Alumni Association in 2011.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Patricia (Hamilton) Winterberg '50; daughter Deborah (Winterberg) Roscelli '78 and her husband Alan '76; daughter Jody (Winterberg) Council '83 and her husband Jeffrey '83; daughter Lynette (Winterberg) Dillard and her husband Bill; sister Jean Pottichen Ragolio; six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; and other extended family.

A Celebration of Life was held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 2, at Morris Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to the Robert R. Winterberg Outstanding Senior Award in the Eberhardt School of Business or to the memorial of your choice.


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