Fiftieth Anniversary Grants

On January 31, 2007, the Dyson Foundation announced that it has awarded $28 million to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Read on to learn more about the recipients of these grants and the history behind them.

Pace University
Grant Amount: $7.5 million

Pace University will receive $7.5 million, the largest of the Foundation’s 50th Anniversary grants, with $5 million going toward a $12 million upgrade of the science laboratories in Dyson Hall on the University’s campus in Pleasantville, NY, built in 1963 with funding provided by Charles H. Dyson. The remainder will provide scholarships and other student support. The grant is the third largest in Pace’s history and reflects a partnership between the Dyson family and Pace that began 75 years ago when Charles H. Dyson graduated from Pace in 1930. Pace’s core curriculum requires all students to take one science class with a laboratory component, and science is at the heart of popular new academic areas like forensic science and the physician assistant program. In the last five years, science majors at Pace have increased 36 percent, with a 50 percent increase in biology majors.

Contact: Chris Cory, Executive Director of Public Information

Weill Cornell Medical College
Grant Amount: $5 million

A $5 million dollar grant to the Department of Ophthalmology of the Weill Cornell Medical College will honor a relationship that began almost thirty years ago when Margaret M. Dyson was treated by Dr. D. Jackson Coleman for a detached retina. A lifelong friendship developed between the Dysons and Dr. Coleman (who was the longtime Chairman of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell), and Margaret became especially interested in eye diseases and vision problems. This led to the establishment of the Margaret M. Dyson Vision Research Center at Weill Cornell in 1989. In recognition of that relationship with Dr. Coleman and Margaret’s interests, this grant will support the Ophthalmology area of the newly-built Ambulatory Care and Medical Education Building at York and 70th Street in New York City, which was dedicated on January 26, 2007. The Ophthalmology Floor will be named the Dyson Family Ophthalmology Floor.

Contact: Jonathan Weil, Director of Communications

Health Quest, Inc.
Grant Amount: $5 million

The Dyson Foundation’s $5 million grant to Health Quest will be used to support the continued implementation of critical healthcare information technology at all three of its member hospitals (Northern Dutchess Hospital/Rhinebeck, NY; Putnam Hospital Center/Carmel, NY, and Vassar Brothers Medical Center/Poughkeepsie, NY). Such technology including medication bar-coding administration, electronic medical records, computerized documentation, and real-time wireless voice communication on clinical units – has become the standard hospitals across the nation are striving to reach in the interest of providing top-quality, cost-effective patient care. The grant from the Dyson Foundation supports this commitment and provides Health Quest with a significant portion of the funds needed to purchase and install this costly new technology.

Contact: Barbara Kram, Director for Marketing and Public Relations

Cornell University
Grant Amount: $5 million

The Dyson Scholars Program will benefit Cornell University's Department of Applied Economics and Management (AEM), the academic home of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' nationally ranked undergraduate business program (UBP). Dyson Scholars will be chosen based on academic performance, with award amounts determined by financial need. Once fully funded, the Dyson Scholars Program will offer awards to approximately the top 10 percent of students in each class year, with the greatest support going to freshmen, as well as funding special programmatic elements designed to foster leadership skills. Each year, more than 60 undergraduates will be named Dyson Scholars. The program will greatly strengthen AEM's ability to recruit students of the highest academic and leadership potential. Among the students who will derive the greatest benefit are those highly qualified students with the greatest financial need. The Dyson scholarships will enable such students to focus on their academic programs without the pressure of having to work to meet their financial needs, especially in the freshman year. It will also offer an added incentive to the program's most outstanding scholars to remain at Cornell by offering scholarship support to a very select number of UBP students who will enroll in the Johnson Graduate School of Management's MBA program.

Contact: Linda McCandless, Director of Communications
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Marietta College
Grant Amount: $5 million

A $5 million grant from the Dyson Foundation to Marietta College will help to construct a 53,400 sq. ft. new library, which will also include additional teaching spaces and provide for gathering and meeting places for students. It will be a campus centerpiece building and is projected to be completed by January 2009. Additional space in the new facility will allow for reference and library collections, archives and special collections, student study space, exhibition gallery, performance spaces, and a café. Robert R. Dyson, President of the Dyson Foundation, was a member of the Class of 1968 at Marietta College, and was delighted to honor his alma mater with this 50th Anniversary grant.

Contact: Tom Perry, Director of College Relations

Pierpont Morgan Library
Grant Amount: $500,000

The Pierpont Morgan Library recently opened its newly renovated and expanded facility in New York City. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the facility includes a new entrance, expanded gallery space, a new 280-seat performance space, larger reading rooms, and new space for storage of the collections. This 50th Anniversary grant has been awarded in memory of Franklin H. Kissner, who was a passionate supporter of the Pierpont Morgan Library. Franklin H. Kissner was Charles Dyson’s first and longest tenured business partner. They met in 1941 when they both worked for the Air Force in wartime Washington. He later joined Charles Dyson in the business that eventually became known as the Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation in 1956. Frank Kissner was a noted art and rare books collector during his lifetime, and was a patron of many important cultural institutions in New York City and elsewhere. He died in 1988.

Contact: Patrick Milliman, Director of Communications & Marketing