Lynden Archer and Robert F. Smith ’85

Read the full story by Syl Kacapyr in the Cornell Chronicle.

As he accepted his Distinguished Alumni Award from Cornell Engineering on May 13, Robert F. Smith ’85, founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, announced a new gift of $15 million for engineering student aid, with a focus on assisting undergraduate students who come to Cornell from urban high schools, and graduate students who attended historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“I am grateful to Robert for sharing our commitment to welcoming the most talented and promising students, regardless of background or ability to pay, and helping us ensure that cost never becomes an obstacle to a Cornell education,” said President Martha E. Pollack. “His leadership in advancing equity and making higher education accessible to all students will have an impact for generations to come.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes engineering alumni whose professional accomplishments bring distinction to the college. Smith received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Cornell before founding Vista, a private equity firm with more than $93 billion in managed assets. Widely considered one of the world’s most successful investors and a leading philanthropist, he came to campus to accept the 2020 Cornell Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award – an event that had been delayed by the pandemic.

Related stories

Anwar Kashem ’02, MEng ’04: giving others the gift of Cornell

Anwar Kashem '02, MEng '04 wants to help future Cornellians. That’s why he celebrated his 20th Reunion with a challenge match gift to support Cornell’s undergraduate affordability initiative.

August 18, 2022

Susan H. Murphy ’73, PhD ’94: contributing time, talent, and treasure

Inspired by Cornell’s undergraduate affordability initiative, Susan H. Murphy ’73, PhD ’94 is ensuring that her 50th Reunion gifts go even further by leveraging the university’s challenge match program.

August 16, 2022

Pursuing a greater calling

Ever since she was a teenager, Efe Airewele ’20 dreamed of studying public health. A competitive financial aid package helped convince Airewele to bring her talents and passions to Cornell University

August 1, 2022