Born in Charlottesville in 1952, Robert German, Jr., attended schools both in Charlottesville and in Albemarle County. He began Albemarle High School in 1967, the first year that Black students entered in larger numbers after Burley High School closed. Riding the school bus, he noticed that all the Black students sat in the back of the bus; being uncomfortable with what that portended, he said: “And so I went and sat with the Black students in the back of the bus.” That simple act allowed him to get to know some of the issues facing Black students. He became active on those issues, initiating a petition to add Black cheerleaders when there were none, participating in school walkouts, and calling attention to both racial and socio-economic issues. After high school, he attended the University of Virginia, where he earned both BA and MA degrees. UVA hired Chip in 1982, and he spent the next 39 years working in Virginia and Pennsylvania in higher education administration, university relations, information technology, and the university libraries. He retired from UVA in 2021 and lives in Albemarle County.