Dyson Scholars endowment to boost Cornell's Undergraduate Business Program

A new scholarship program will soon benefit top students in Cornell's Undergraduate Business Program (UBP) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

The Dyson Scholars Program, to be funded with a $5 million gift from the Dyson Foundation, will begin making awards to UBP freshmen in fall 2008. The program will expand in subsequent years to cover all four undergraduate classes and, ultimately, to a select number of UBP students who commit to enrolling in the Johnson School's MBA program. Robert R. Dyson, a 1974 graduate of the Johnson School, is president of the Dyson Foundation.

Dyson Scholars will be chosen based on academic performance, with award amounts determined by financial need. Once fully funded, the program will offer awards to approximately 60 students each year.

"The Dyson Scholars Program will advance Ezra Cornell's founding vision of 'an institution where any person can seek instruction in any study' while also allowing us to recognize the accomplishments of the best and brightest in our undergraduate business program -- a program that is rapidly gaining the visibility and renown it has long deserved," said Cornell President David J. Skorton.

The new endowment also will allow faculty in the Department of Applied Economics and Management to develop such special program offerings for the Dyson Scholars as an annual visiting speaker, teaching-assistant experience, faculty-guided independent study or research and networking activities.

"This program will allow outstanding students with financial need to participate more fully in the academic experience at Cornell without undue hardship," said Dyson. "A strong motivation for this gift was the firmly held belief of my father, Charles Dyson, that students should be able to focus on their studies without having to support themselves, especially during the all-important freshman year." The Dyson Foundation was founded in 1957 by Charles Dyson and his wife, Margaret.

Robert Dyson is chairman of Dyson-Kissner-Moran, a privately owned holding company based in New York City. He served on the Cornell Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2001 and currently serves on the advisory council of the Johnson School. His previous gifts to Cornell include funding to renovate the Sage Hall atrium, to establish the Margaret M. Dyson Vision Research Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and to endow the John S. Dyson Professorship in Marketing in UBP to honor his brother, John Dyson '65, now chairman and chief executive officer of Pebble Ridge Vineyards and Wine Estates and a Cornell presidential councillor.

In 1992 John Dyson, who served as New York's governor-appointed member of the Cornell Board of Trustees from 1981 to 2001, established the Kenneth L. Robinson Professorship in Agricultural Economics and Public Policy in CALS. In 2001 both John and Robert Dyson were elected trustees emeriti.

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