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FALL 2010
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Outstanding Alumni Awards

David R. Atkinson '60

David AtkinsonDavid R. Atkinson is a successful businessman, a good university citizen, and a visionary philanthropist. An accomplished CALS alumnus, he is deeply committed to Cornell University and its land-grant mission.

A prolific investor with both a professional and intellectual interest in energy, the environment, and economic development, Atkinson has been an important advisor to the university. As a member of the CALS Advisory Council from 2003 to 2009, he co-chaired with Professor Mike Hoffmann the Environmental Sustainability and Development Task Force. The task force’s work led to the creation of the Cornell Center for Sustainability, which Atkinson and his wife, Patricia, later seeded and ultimately endowed. The David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future focuses on the intersection of energy, the environment, and economic development. Atkinson is also a life member of the Cornell University Council, and in 2010 was named a Presidential Councillor, the highest honor the university bestows.

The Atkinsons’ impact at Cornell also is evidenced by the David R. Atkinson Professorship in Ecology and Environmental Biology, a position held by Robert Howarth since 1993, and the annual Atkinson Forum in American Studies. Inspired by their friendship with Professor Glenn Altschuler, MA ’73, PhD ’76, the Atkinson Forum brings to campus individuals and groups that enrich the curriculum of the American Studies program and the cultural life of the university.

Atkinson is the founder of Atkinson & Company in Princeton, N.J. He retired in 1992 as general partner of Miller, Anderson & Sherrerd LLP, an investment counseling firm based in Philadelphia. Earlier, he held a number of positions in the financial industry, including vice president in the research department of Morgan Stanley, co-founder of Franklin Capital Investors, and manager of the Scudder Development Fund at Scudder, Stevens & Clark. Mr. Atkinson earned an MBA in 1963 from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. He served as an officer in the United States Navy for two years, after graduating from Cornell.

The Atkinsons reside in Yardley, Pennsylvania, and have three sons, Michael, Steven, and Paul (Eng ’92).