Boyers make leadership gift for sciences

Gilda Vinzulis Boyer ’84 and Barry Boyer ’84 were the quintessential Cornell couple of their era, showing leadership on campus and appearing in recruiting materials. They are still that leadership couple, providing a gift of $250,000 to the college’s science facilities project as Gilda prepares to become chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees on Oct. 28.

Barry and Gilda Boyer
Barry Boyer ’84 and Gilda Vinzulis Boyer ’84

“We feel fortunate that we are able to make this gift and give back to Cornell as a thank you for the life-changing impact it had on us and as a way to help improve the classroom experience for years to come,” said Gilda. “The science project is so crucial to Cornell’s future that even though neither of us were science majors, it’s where our money could be put to best use. It will allow the facilities to match the quality of the education.”

Cornell’s $35 million science project, part of the Greater > Than campaign, will more than double the college’s STEM space. The four-story Russell Science Center, currently under construction, is scheduled to be done by January 2019, and will be followed by renovations of West Hall and portions of Law Hall. In two years the college has exceeded $33 million in gifts toward the project.

“I’m inspired by Barry and Gilda’s belief in Cornell. They focused on the college’s highest priority, not their own, and through their gift we are gaining institutional momentum,” said Cornell President Jonathan Brand.

The Boyers are active volunteers and significant philanthropists in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City area. Gilda is a Cornell Trustee and chair of the Greater > Than campaign cabinet. Since retiring from Shuttleworth and Ingersoll law firm in 2008 she has served and chaired numerous community boards. Barry retired in 2012 as President and CEO of Van Meter Industrial. His community leadership includes chairing the board of Priority One, its successor the Metro Economic Alliance, and co-chairing a United Way campaign with Gilda. In retirement he has helped start two nonprofits that work with incarcerated men.

The Boyers have previously supported the renovation of the Garner President’s House, the Ash Park Field Project, the Golden Rams athletics fund, and Cornell’s Annual Fund.