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New marketing chair in Cornell's Undergraduate Business Program named for John Dyson, creator of 'I Love NY' tourism campaign

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Robert R. Dyson, who earned his MBA at Cornell University in 1974, has endowed the John S. Dyson Professorship in Marketing in Cornell's Undergraduate Business Program in honor of his brother, John, creator of the "I Love NY" tourism campaign and a 1965 Cornell graduate.

The position, the program's first endowed faculty position since receiving accreditation in 2002, has been established with a gift of $3 million. The first holder of the chair has not yet been selected.

"This gift represents my personal appreciation to John for all he has done for Cornell University," said Robert Dyson. "In the nearly 40 years since John's graduation, he has worked tirelessly on behalf of programs across the campus, offered his insightful advice as a member of the Board of Trustees and provided very generous financial support. John has given significantly to Cornell in each of the three w's -- wisdom, work and wealth."

"Rob Dyson's wonderful gift acknowledges his brother John's selfless generosity and dedicated leadership on behalf of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell," said Susan A. Henry, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "Endowing a professorship provides critical support for our Undergraduate Business Program and its outstanding faculty. We are deeply grateful to Rob and the Dyson Foundation for their marvelous support." Robert Dyson is president of the foundation, which was founded in 1957 by the brothers' late parents.

Edward McLaughlin, the Robert G. Tobin Professor of Marketing and director of the Undergraduate Business Program, said: "This endowment really builds momentum and enhances our undergraduate program. Endowments attract elite, leading scholars who, in turn, attract top students. It really helps to underscore the national stature of our business program."

William Lesser, chairman of the Department of Applied Economics and Management (AEM), which is the largest department in the university and home to the Undergraduate Business Program, said the endowment will help the department become even more competitive as it seeks to endow four additional professorships in coming years. "We would not be able to recruit top faculty without endowments like this," Lesser said.

John Dyson is chairman and chief executive officer of Pebble Ridge Vineyards & Wine Estates, which operates wineries and commercial vineyards in New York, California and Italy. Much of his career has been spent in public service. He created the New York tourism campaign in the 1970s when he was commissioner of commerce for New York state. In 1994 Mayor Rudolph Giuliani appointed him New York City deputy mayor for finance and economic development, in which position he worked to rebuild the downtown area in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. He served as chairman of the New York State Power Authority and of the Urban Development Corporation. As the state commissioner of agriculture, he was responsible for developing the "Grown in New York" program.

John Dyson was the New York state governor-appointed trustee to Cornell's Board of Trustees from 1981 to 2001 and was elected emeritus trustee in 2001, and the same year he was named a Cornell Presidential Councillor. He also has served on four advisory councils at Cornell. Dyson received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Outstanding Alumni Award in 1984, and in 1992 he established the Kenneth L. Robinson Professorship in Agricultural Economics and Public Policy in CALS.

Robert Dyson is chairman of Dyson-Kissner-Moran, a privately owned holding company based in New York City. He is chairman of the board of Marist College and a trustee of Vassar Brothers Hospital and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

He was a Cornell trustee in 1995-2001 and was elected emeritus trustee in 2001. He serves on the advisory council for the Johnson Graduate School of Management. In 1995 Robert Dyson made a gift through the Dyson Foundation to the Johnson School to renovate the Sage Hall atrium. Another gift, in 1989, was made to the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (now the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center) to establish the Margaret M. Dyson Vision Research Institute.

AEM has 42 faculty members, about 700 undergraduates and more than 70 graduate students. The department, which is nearly a century old, maintains its historical roots in the farm economy but in recent years has expanded into areas focused broadly on finance, marketing, strategy and applied economics. Since 1999, the department has seen a 52 percent increase in first-year undergraduate applications.

Cornell's Undergraduate Business Program offers the university's only undergraduate business degree to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The business program has added 12 faculty since 2000.

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