John Nelson Robinson died December 21, 1973 at the age of 55. He served the Purdue University community as a member of the registrar’s staff. “Nelson,” as he was known by all his friends, began his association with the University as a supervisor for data systems and programs. In the field of unit record equipment he was without peer. His ability to perform difficult or seemingly impossible tasks with this type of equipment was a continuing source of amazement to the manufacturers of the equipment. His facility in this area extended to household and automotive equipment, and his friends were quick to call on his expertise whenever problems arose.
Nelson was instrumental in the development of a computerized admissions system for the University, and most particularly in the development of computer processing of student data. As computer processing of data grew, he grew with it, and many of his original ideas in the management of data are the basis of the University’s present student record system. The present system is recognized as one of the finest in student data management.
In years past Nelson attended the annual College and University Machine Records conferences, where his views on data management were well-known and respected. He was a member of the Indiana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and contributed much to the data processing knowledge of the members of this group.
Nelson was a deeply religious man as was evidenced in his willingness to give much of himself to the needs of his church in addition to his monetary contributions. His devotion to his fellow workers, his job, and the University community was unequaled. His accomplishments and influence will continue to live through student data processing at Purdue University.
Nelson was married in 1944 to Vivian Dewitt who survives. Also surviving are a daughter, Mrs. Laura Hiner of Indianapolis, and a son, Dewitt, of Monticello.
Nelson is missed by all who knew him.