Endowment Honors GH Staff

Anyone that has walked through the doors of 27 Barrow Street in the past 30 years has likely been met with the bright personality and signature red visor of Robert Smith. A member of the organization’s maintenance staff since 1979, the shiny star sticker that marks his office perfectly encapsulates his unique brand of joy, both welcoming and genuine.

The positive effect Robert has on each person he encounters will now be remembered for generations to come, thanks to a planned endowment from Gillian Horgan, a former Greenwich House employee, who has bequeathed money in her will to set up a scholarship in his name at Greenwich House Music School.

Robert, who says he learned long ago to not let negativity interfere with his work, is honored at the recognition. If you’re creative in your approach, he remarks, you can find ways to make it easier on yourself.

“We’re all still learning; you have to take your time, and you’ll realize what wins is positivity. When you learn how to relax, the work comes easier,” he says.

At Greenwich House, his work has been enhanced by his ability to work with people—and learn from them. “It feels good to know you’re having an impact, and helping others keeps me focused,” Robert says.

With his pin-covered uniform and heart-felt words of wisdom, it’s no wonder that his infectious good will has left a lasting impression on those who have worked alongside Robert throughout the past several decades.

The scholarship that Ms. Horgan has endowed will provide financial support for students pursuing operatic voice lessons. Bequests like Ms. Horgan’s are an especially meaningful way of contributing to Greenwich House. They help not only to sustain programming for generations to come, but they also commemorate the legacy of a donor’s generosity.

We are especially proud of Robert for touching so many lives, and as Ms. Horgan notes, embodying “how to be a true human being and an example of grace and wisdom to us all.”

For more information about setting up a bequest, contact Andrea Newman, or call 212-991-0003, ext. 402.

About Greenwich House

Greenwich House is a registered 501 c(3) organization and a member of the United Neighborhood Houses of New York. If you are interested in learning more about the network of settlement houses and the work they do, click here

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