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David Drinkwater ’94 Establishes Endowed Faculty Director Position

March 22, 2021

David E. Drinkwater ’94 has made a generous gift to endow a Faculty Director position at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, to be known as the David Drinkwater Faculty Director.

Daryl Nydam, professor in Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, currently holds the David Drinkwater Faculty Director position. Nydam is the director of the Quality Milk Production Services (QMPS) program in the College of Veterinary Medicine and faculty lead for Cornell Atkinson’s One Health working group.

The One Health working group focuses on transdisciplinary approaches for the optimal health of people, animals, and the environment through geographically appropriate land and ocean-use planning, environmental conservation, and public health policy creation and implementation.

Drinkwater holds both a BA from the College of Arts & Sciences and a BS from the College of Engineering. Drinkwater first got to know Cornell Atkinson at a climate change panel during Reunion 2014, where he also reconnected with his undergraduate research adviser, Frank DiSalvo, the center’s first director. In recent years, Drinkwater has served on an ad hoc planning committee for Cornell Atkinson to advise on future fundraising priorities and campaigns. In addition to Cornell Atkinson, Drinkwater has committed his support to the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering, and Student and Campus Life, among other university priorities. Drinkwater’s father, David Drinkwater, was Cornell University Dean of Students in the 1980s.

Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability serves as the hub of collaborative sustainability research at Cornell University, forging vital connections among researchers, students, staff, and external partners. Cornell Atkinson Faculty Directors act as associate directors of the center, emphasizing intellectual leadership. Faculty directors work collaboratively as part of the Cornell Atkinson Executive Committee. Their role is to communicate, connect, and catalyze faculty across campus on research themes relevant to the center; recognize and cultivate other faculty leaders; and leverage Cornell colleges’ resources with those of the center.

“A crucial part of Cornell Atkinson’s ability to be successful is the intellectual thought leadership from our Faculty Directors, who are nationally recognized scholars in their fields,” says David Lodge the Francis J. DiSalvo Director of Cornell Atkinson. “These faculty build bridges across disciplines on campus, coalesce new ideas, and grow our collaborations with external partners. Endowing these positions is critical in attracting and retaining quality faculty.”

Drinkwater’s gift leveraged matching funds from David R. Atkinson ’60 and Patricia Atkinson, who previously provided a challenge opportunity to inspire other donors who might endow these essential roles. The Atkinsons’ challenge has resulted in two endowed positions so far, the David Drinkwater Faculty Director and the Kathy Dwyer Marble and Curt Marble Faculty Director. The latter is currently held by C. Lindsay Anderson, associate professor in Biological and Environmental Engineering and the Norman R. Scott Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow in the College of Engineering. Anderson also serves as Interim David Croll Director of the Cornell Energy Systems Institute (CESI). Catherine L. Kling, Tisch University Professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, also serves as a Faculty Director.


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