Corson, Dale R.

Alternative names
Birth 1914-04-05
Death 2012-03-31

Biographical notes:

Cornell University Assistant Professor of Physics, 1946-1947; Associate Professor, 1947-1952; Professor, 1952-79; Chairman of Physics Department, 1956-1959; Dean, College of Engineering, 1959-63; Provost of Cornell University, 1963-1969; President of Cornell University, 1969-1977.

From the description of Dale R. Corson oral histories, 1981-1994. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 63936038

Dale R. Corson was named chairman of the Physics Dept. at Cornell University in 1956, Dean of the College of Engineering in 1959, Provost in 1963, and President in 1969, a position he held until 1977.

From the description of Dale R. Corson papers, 1963-1977. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 63948875

From the guide to the Dale R. Corson papers, 1963-1977., (Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library)

After retiring as President of Cornell University (1969-1977), Dale Corson served as Chancellor from 1978 to 1982.

From the description of Dale R. Corson papers, 1963-2009. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 73965711

Dale R. Corson was born in Pittsburg, Kansas in 1914. He received his B.A. degree from the College of Emporia in 1934, his M.A. from the University of Kansas in 1935, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1938. In 1940 he discovered astatine, one of the last missing elements on the Periodic Table, while he was a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley. He was a staff member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory from 1941 to 1943, and later served as a technical advisor at Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C. At the end of the war, he joined the staff of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. In 1946 he came to Cornell University as an assistant professor of physics and helped design the Cornell Synchrotron. During his time at Cornell, he co-authored a textbook, Introduction to Electromagnetic Fields and Waves . He was appointed associate professor of physics in 1947, became a full professor in 1956, was named chairman of the Physics Department in 1956, and became Dean of the College of Engineering in 1959. Dale Corson served as Provost of the University from 1963 to 1969, becoming Cornell’s eighth president in 1969. He guided the University through the political upheavals and economic troubles of the late 1960s and the 1970s.

In 1977, he resigned his position and was appointed Chancellor of the University, serving in that capacity until 1979. The Medical College was a major focus of his attention during this period.

Upon retiring from the Cornell administration, Corson continued to work as a consultant in the fields of engineering and physics, and he was involved in many national and international efforts. He founded the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, and he headed a study sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, Scientific Communication and National Security (1982). It defined research universities' concern about research areas that are not classified but are deemed militarily useful. He also served as a consultant to the Chinese University Development Project, an initiative funded by the World Bank. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1981.

He helped to found Kendal at Ithaca, a retirement community, in the 1990s. Throughout his life, he has been an avid amateur photographer, and his work has been exhibited in many settings.

From the guide to the Dale R. Corson papers, 1935-2002., (Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library)


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