Robin Jaqua, UO supporter and philanthropist, dies at 94

November 10, 2015 - 3:39pm

Robin Jaqua, one of the UO’s strongest supporters and a leading figure in the community, died Sunday, Nov. 9, following a lifetime of service to children, the arts and education. She was 94.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

A longtime resident of Lane County, Jaqua moved to the area in the late 1940s with her husband, John Jaqua, who became an admired attorney. Both were active volunteers who gave time, energy and resources to a variety of local organizations.

Later, Robin Jaqua studied counseling at the UO’s College of Education, where she earned a master’s degree in 1971 and completed her doctorate in 1975. She then began a career working with children and their families.

Nationally renowned in the field of Jungian analysis and archetypal symbolism, Jaqua earned a diploma from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1984 and returned to Eugene to begin her practice as a Jungian analyst. Jaqua served as the director of training for Eugene’s Pacific Northwest Society of Jungian Analysts.

Jaqua and her late husband were prominent philanthropists, giving generously to the arts, the UO and organizations supporting children and families. The Jaquas supported the university’s School of Law, College of Education, Oregon Bach Festival, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Northwest Indian Language Institute and athletics.

Throughout their lives, Robin and John Jaqua were among the university’s most generous donors and unfailing advocates. John Jaqua led the campaign that raised money for what is now the Knight Law Center and the couple funded the building’s John E. Jaqua Law Library. 

Today the Jaqua name is prominent on campus. In addition to the law library, they are remembered with the John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes and the Robin Jaqua Archetypal Library in the College of Education — testaments to the Jaquas’ commitment to the university.

The couple also gave generously to the arts and organizations supporting children and families. Among their many community contributions was a gift that allowed a local group to purchase the former First Baptist Church downtown and establish the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts.

"There is nobody who was more gracious, and who had more fun, in making her generous contributions than Robin Jaqua," said Ginevra Ralph, vice chair of the UO Board of Trustees and director of education for the Shedd institute. "It meant all the world to her to make a difference in her community through her personal energy, special causes and friendship, as well as her extraordinary gifts."

The Jaquas came to Oregon after John Jaqua, a decorated Marine aviator, served in World War II and they both graduated from Pomona College. John Jaqua finished law school at the UO in 1950, and the Jaquas moved to their McKenzie River ranch in 1954.

The couple later granted a conservation easement for the 1,200-acre property to The Nature Conservancy, leaving it protected from future development. It is now known as the Coburg Ridge Preserve.

John Jaqua died in 2009. He was a distinguished Eugene-Springfield attorney who served on Nike’s board for more than 30 years.

Robin Jaqua is survived by her four children, Jim and Jon of Eugene, Anne of Portland and Stephen of Sisters; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.