Dr. Jerry Robinson served as a missionary pilot in Brazil, as an instructor for Flight Safety, as a demo pilot for Cessna in the Cessna 441 and 425, and as the Flight Training Supervisor for Cessna Aircraft Company's Air Transport Department. He also served as a Master Army Aviator, both fixed and rotary wing, having obtained the rank of Colonel in the US Army Reserve prior to retirement to Arkansas to become Henderson State University's first Chair and Director of the university's new Department of Aviation in 1987 and served in that position for 18 years until his retirement from Henderson in 2005.
During this time, the department grew from around 50 students to see its peak of 168 students in 1992. Dr. Robinson rewrote the curriculum for the department, which ultimately led to its growth and expansion. The new curriculum not only expanded upon the basic ground school courses that were being offered in the professional pilot track, it also added courses to create the new aviation management tracks. This new curriculum led to the program being recognized as an Airway Science Program by the FAA. This recognition helped lead to the building of the 33,000 square foot aviation facility on Henderson's campus now known as the Caplinger Airway Science Center which houses the school's flight simulators and cockpit procedure trainers, aviation class rooms and lecture hall, and the aviation faculty and staff offices.