Robert Donnelly was a married professor at Harvard University. Years ago he had an affair with his student at the time Rebecca Bunch. When he ended things with Rebecca what followed was an unfortunate event that resulted in scandal. His first appearance was in the Season Two episode "Can Josh Take A Leap Of Faith?". He was portrayed by actor Adam Kaufman.
In 2009, Professor Robert Donnelly cheated on his wife with a girl enrolled in his class named Rebecca Bunch. As their tryst continued he made repeated promises that he'd leave his wife and marry his student. He ultimately found couldn't do that and made a decision to end things with Rebecca. On that same night she came to his house with some news. Despite his intentions he indulged in a brief make out session with her. Robert then broke up with her prefacing it with platitudes that he cared deeply for her. Nevertheless he told her he had to end their affair which came as a shock to Rebecca. She told him she had just dropped out of his class so there'd be no conflict of interest in them being together.
On a whim she bought a cheap veil to mark the occasion excited that they could finally be together without sneaking around. Robert tried to gently let her down but she refused to accept it was over. He reiterated that they were done and coldly told her to let herself out. He left her alone in his house and in a rage she gathered a few of his personal belongings. She put them in a pile and lit it on fire along with the veil she bought. The flames unexpected spiraled out of control setting the house on fire. In the aftermath Rebecca was brought up on three counts of arson. At Rebecca's trial, Robert requested a restraining order put on her which resulted in her expulsion from Harvard ("Can Josh Take A Leap Of Faith?").
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