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Robert '55 and Vanne '57 Cowie

In 1990, Robert Cowie retired as vice president of public affairs at the Dana Corporation. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He also has served as vice chair of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Auto Parts Advisory Committee, which deals with the issue of the auto parts trade deficit with Japan, and chair of the Public Affairs Council of MAPI.

A good teacher inspires students to develop the will and ability to learn on their own, an ability that will be vital to their future success. We should support and encourage in every way possible those gifted teachers who can capture the students’ interest and imagination and bring a complex and challenging subject to life." —Robert A. Cowie ’55, B.M.E. ’56, M.B.A. ’57

A Presidential Councillor and Trustee Emeritus since 1996, Mr. Cowie served on the Board of Trustees from 1973–96. He is also an emeritus member of the Johnson Graduate School of Management Advisory Council, and he is a currently member of the Engineering College Council. Additionally, Mr. Cowie has been a member of the Lake Source Cooling Project Administrative Board, the Astronomy Advisory Committee, and the Laboratory of Ornithology and is also a Plantations Sponsor.  

Currently serving a second term on the Cornell University Council, Mrs. Cowie has also served as a director-at-large of the Cornell Alumni Federation and was a member of the advisory board of Cornell’s Adult University.  

The Cowies have three children: Anne, a graduate of the College of Human Ecology (1986) and a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women; Robert ’91, who graduated as a music major; and Ronald, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati who studied at Cornell during the 1991 summer session.