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Cornell announces Dyson family gift of $25M

Accompanied by former New York Power Authority Chairman John Dyson and top university officials, Cornell President David Skorton on Tuesday announced gifts totaling $25 million and the establishment of a new school — the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management — within the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The school is named in honor of John Dyson’s father and in recognition of the contribution from the late business leader’s family. The event took place in Mann Library on Cornell’s Ithaca campus. A formal dedication event is planned for this fall.

Charles Dyson co-founded the Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp., which became one of the largest privately held companies in the country, and was a pioneer in the field of leveraged buyouts. Prior to that he worked for the Department of the Treasury, where he helped to organize the International Monetary Fund. Dyson was known for philanthropy and community service. The family’s long history with Cornell began when John was an undergraduate CALS student, and Charles made generous gifts to support undergraduate scholarships.

His eldest son, John, is the founder and chairman of Millbrook Capital Management, a private investment firm that operates a manufacturing company, a vineyard and wine group and a hedge fund. As state commerce commissioner in the 1970s, he developed the “I Love New York” campaign; as New York City deputy mayor for finance and economic development, he helped to lead the effort to rebuild downtown in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. He is an emeritus member of Cornell University’s Board of Trustees.