Slater provides major gift for athletics facilities
Robert Slater ’60 played baseball for Cornell College, and more importantly, met his wife, Dixie Krantz Slater ’64, at Cornell. Now he has given $250,000 to the college’s Athletic and Wellness Facilities Project as a way to honor Dixie, who died in November 2020.
The group exercise room bearing their name will enhance wellness in the Cornell community.
“I hope this gift will improve the physical and emotional well being of all. We seem to need it more these days,” Slater said. “The pandemic has created issues that all of us have faced. In this facility you can push yourself and have fun. Develop your passions. Find joy. It’s a good place to get your mind in shape and deal with personal challenges.”
The Slaters knew how to find joy amid the friendly competitions of their family tennis tournaments, and that’s one reason why he felt Cornell’s $19.5 million Athletic and Wellness Facilities Project was the right avenue for his investment. Part of the Greater > Than Campaign for Cornell College, the project will enlarge and renew the existing athletics facility resulting in a contemporary health, wellness, and sport center for all students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
“Bob and Dixie have provided leadership and support for Cornell when we needed it, and I am grateful that Bob has stepped up again in Dixie’s honor,” said President Jonathan Brand. “His investment in the Athletic and Wellness Facilities Project will make a difference in the lives of all students, and indeed the entire Cornell community.”
Dixie was a history major, a member of Kappa Theta sorority, president of Arlington (Texas) Girls Club, and actively participated in the couple’s Creede Repertory Theatre and Cure JM Foundation efforts, as well as Girl Scouts. “Kindness, giving, and authenticity were all a part of her character,” Bob said.
As a student, Slater majored in political science and history and was a member of the AXE fraternity—in addition to playing baseball for the Rams. From 1987 to 2011 he was a Cornell Trustee and Life Trustee, heading the search that resulted in hiring President Les Garner.
Based in Texas and Colorado for the past 50 years, Slater enjoyed a distinguished career at Ernst & Young, Spencer Stuart, and Korn Ferry in a professional and senior management capacity. Slater’s curiosity and liberal arts foundation fueled a love of education and the arts. He chaired the University of Texas at Dallas Graduate School Advisory Board, and served as president and capital campaign chair of the Creede Repertory Theatre in Creede, Colorado, where he and Dixie established the Slater Fellow in Theatrical Development for the Cornell Fellows program. Their ongoing support of that program has sustained 10 Cornell students in internships/fellowships at the Creede Repertory Theatre. The couple also supported Cornell’s Ash Park Project and Russell D. Cole Library renovation.
Bob and Dixie have two children, Scott and Shari, who hold MBAs from the University of Texas Arlington (Scott) and Southern Methodist University (Shari). They have seven grandchildren. As the grandfather of a child with Juvenile Dermatomyositis, Bob is committed to the search for a cure and serves on the Cure JM Foundation Honorary Advisory Council.