Siena College honors Robert and Anne Higgins, community leaders and benefactors.
A leader and pioneer in the music and video retailing industry, Robert J. Higgins is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Trans World Entertainment Corporation, one of the largest specialty music and video retailers in the United States. Mr. Higgins founded Trans World in 1972 in Albany, under the original name "Trans World Music Corp." The company went public in 1986, and currently operates nearly 1,000 stores under the names FYE, Coconuts, Strawberries Music, Specs, and Planet Music. In recognition of his achievements in a very competitive industry, Mr. Higgins received Billboard magazine's 1997 Video Person of the Year Award. Among his many other honors is his 1999 induction into the Capital Region Business Hall of Fame, a preeminent award in the Capital District. Inductees "are noted not only for their leadership in enhancing free enterprise, but also for their contributions to the community."
Mr. Higgins has given generously of his time and talent to the Capital District. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Albany Medical Center since 1984, serving as chair from 1992-1994. Albany Medical Center Hospital's Robert J. Higgins Renal Transplant and Surgical Center is named in his honor. He is currently co-chair of the Center's Pillars campaign, described by the Center as a five-year fundraising effort "designed to fortify and enhance the programs and services of northeastern New York's only academic health sciences center." The Medical Center includes both the Albany Medical Center Hospital and the Albany Medical College. In October 2001, Robert and Anne Higgins announced their gift of $10 million to the Pillars Campaign, the largest gift in the history of the Albany Medical Center.
In 2002, Robert J. Higgins was named by Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings to the Albany Convention Center Task Force. The Task Force was established to advise the City about matters related to the building of a proposed downtown convention center complex. Robert and Anne Higgins are also benefactors to Siena College, having generously endowed the Higgins Scholarship, awarded to liberal arts majors.
In recognition for their many contributions and generosity to the local community, Siena College honors Robert and Anne Higgins with the degree of Doctor of Music.