Spring on the York College campus

Tribute to Bob Kinsley

Bob and Anne Kinsley with Computer Engineering student Felix Diaz ‘19 (left) and Dr. Wayne Blanding (right) during a 2017 visit to The Kinsley School of Engineering, Sciences and Technology.

Robert “Bob” Kinsley passed away on June 10, 2020. A friend and champion for York College and its students, Bob was a trustee emeritus, past Chair of the Board of Trustees, and father of current trustee, Jon Kinsley. 

Bob began his illustrious career working as a backhoe operator for a small building contractor after graduating from William Penn High School in 1958. The next summer, armed with knowledge on how to form a corporation provided by his York Junior College professor, he left that company and started a lawn grading business of his own. 

Bob founded Kinsley Construction in 1963, and continued working full-time until his death. The present day-to-day activities are managed by his five sons, who grew up in the business. Kinsley Construction now consists of six divisions focusing on specific areas of the industry while primarily serving Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region. 

Bob’s engagement in civic affairs and charitable activities was extensive and meaningful. He worked tirelessly to create a dignified and technologically sophisticated visitors center in Gettysburg, as a tribute to the soldiers who fought there. The Gettysburg Foundation constructed and operates the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitors Center. 

Bob also ably served his alma mater, as a trustee from 1986 to 2007, and as Board Chair, from 2007 to 2011. He received an honorary degree from York College on May 14, 2011. 

Bob and wife, Anne, made a transformative gift in 2017 to name The Kinsley School of Engineering, Sciences and Technology. His relationship with York’s engineering program dates back to its conception in 1993. He served on the search committee that hired the first Director of Engineering and remained very involved with the program, providing financial support in 2008 for the renovation of the former York Narrow Fabrics manufacturing facility into The Kinsley Engineering Center. 

“Bob was an incredible person who served as an example for us all,” said York College President Dr. Pamela Gunter-Smith. “His values were clearly demonstrated by his actions—family, integrity, community. Importantly, Bob believed in providing opportunities for young people to succeed in life. He was instrumental in the founding of York College’s highly successful engineering program. His legacy transcends the buildings and York College’s School of Engineering, Sciences and Technology, which bear the Kinsley name. It lies in the countless young people whose careers he launched. 

“Bob Kinsley was a champion for York College and, more importantly, for the students we serve. For this, we are forever grateful.”