Robert Engel ’55, 2010 Leadership and Service Award

Robert Engel, your steadfast support of and generosity to Cornell place you among our most distinguished alumni. You and your wife, Beth, Class of ’57, met on The Hilltop and you sent two of your sons here, as well.

Robert Engel '55
Robert Engel ’55 (right) and Cornell Interim President Jim Brown.

Fifty-five years ago you were graduated with a degree in German. After that, in the time-honored manner of a true Cornellian, you made your education a starting point for a varied career with the betterment of others always at its center. You served as minister in the United Methodist Church for seven years before earning your Ph.D. in Education and working in many positions at the University of Iowa, starting with assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and ending as assistant to President James Freedman.

During your years at the University, your service to Cornell never wavered. Your generous gifts have supported renovations of Law Hall, the fine arts campaign, the Annual Fund and, most recently, the Cornell Scholars program, through which you and your wife have established the Robert E. and Elizabeth Engel Scholarship. Your gifts have made your alma mater a better place as they have enriched the lives of countless students.

Throughout your career, you have remained active in the United Methodist Church and in educational affairs on both the state and national level. In the 1960s, you were a delegate to Mississippi churches in support of civil rights. Your work on various boards includes twenty-four years as a member of our Board of Trustees. For your service to United Methodist Higher Education, you have been recognized with the Francis Asbury Lifetime Achievement Award; for service to Cornell, you have been named Life Trustee of the College. And today, Bob, for all that you have done, we award you the Cornell College Leadership and Service Award.