Businessman and philanthropist Robert R. Dyson will deliver the keynote speech at the college’s 55th annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19.
Robert “Rob” R. Dyson has a wide range of business interests and responsibilities. He is the Chairman and CEO of The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation, a privately owned, diversified investment holding company that was founded by his father, Charles H. Dyson, in 1954. Dyson also owns and manages a diverse array of private investments, and earlier in his career had been the founder and owner of a regional radio broadcasting group of Hudson Valley radio stations.
Dyson was educated at Marietta College (BA in Economics) and the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University (MBA). In 2014, Dyson received an honorary doctoral degree from Mount Saint Mary College.
Currently, he lives in Millbrook, N.Y. and has two children and four grandchildren.
Civic and community leadership is an important role for Dyson. He currently serves on the board of Health Quest Systems, the largest integrated health system in the Mid-Hudson Valley, which includes Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, Putnam Hospital, and Sharon Hospital. He recently stepped down as the Chairman of the Board of Marist College and still serves as a trustee. He is on the board of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation and Empire State Development, and is a life member of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University. He has previously served on the boards of many other voluntary organizations on national and regional levels.
Dyson carries on the Dyson family tradition both in his personal philanthropy and through the work of the Dyson Foundation. The Foundation, which Dyson has led as Chairman since 2000, made grants of $13.7 million in 2017 and nearly $360 million since its founding in 1957.
In the Mid-Hudson Valley, the Dyson Foundation supports a diverse array of organizations, from colleges and hospitals to human service and safety net programs. One of the Foundation’s hallmark projects has been the Walkway Over the Hudson, a 1.28 mile, formerly abandoned railroad bridge that was rebuilt into the longest elevated pedestrian trail in the world, and has attracted more than 500,000 visitors annually since its opening in 2009. The Dyson Foundation also created Upper Landing Park in the City of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to help stabilize and revitalize the Poughkeepsie waterfront.
Outside of the Hudson Valley, the Foundation supports organizations of significance to Dyson family members.
Yet another interest – and passion – of Dyson’s is Dyson Racing, one of the top-rated sports car racing teams in the country based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Dyson Racing has won almost all of the major professional Sports Car sanctioned races in the country at one time or another, and he has twice personally garnered overall wins in the prestigious Daytona 24 Hour competition.