June 21, 2005

Alumnus Robert Harrison endows Social Sciences Institute post

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Robert S. Harrison '76, a Cornell University trustee, has endowed the directorship of Cornell's Institute for the Social Sciences. The position currently is held by sociology Professor David Harris, who recently was named vice provost for social sciences.

Harris, who was appointed to the three-year term as director in February 2004, said he met Harrison at a trustees retreat last year. "He was interested in making a major gift to Cornell, and was excited about the institute," Harris said.

Harrison, who spent 22 years as a corporate lawyer and investment banker, is now active in public service and is chairman of the board of the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan. The organization http://www.henrystreet.org administers a variety of social service and arts programs to more than 100,000 New York City residents each year. Harrison also works with the William J. Clinton Foundation and other organizations.

As an undergraduate at Cornell, Harrison was a student trustee and a college scholar, creating a multidisciplinary academic program in political science. He studied philosophy, policy and economics as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and later graduated from Yale Law School.