David Drinkwater

David Drinkwater ’94 Endows a Faculty Director Position at Cornell Atkinson

David Drinkwater ’94 has made a generous gift to endow a Faculty Director position at Cornell Atkinson. His contribution was doubled thanks to matching funds provided by David R. Atkinson ’60 and Patricia Atkinson.

This gift provides vital funding to Cornell Atkinson to further sustainability research, education and engagement at the university. Furthermore, it supports student and campus life – a major priority of the center.

Early Life and Education

David Drinkwater’s childhood and education were heavily influenced by music. At five years old, he started playing organ and eventually earned a degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

He then became the organist/choirmaster of Kirkpatrick Chapel and taught at Rutgers for many years, serving as editor of choral and organ music for J. Fischer & Co.

At Cornell, Drinkwater dedicated himself to supporting Cornell Atkinson and the university’s other priorities. He made a generous gift that endowed the David Drinkwater Faculty Director position – currently held by Daryl Nydam – as part of an initiative designed to inspire other donors to do the same. As such, his role at Cornell Atkinson has been invaluable, helping shape initiatives like One Health working group and transdisciplinary research priorities on climate change.

Professional Career

David Drinkwater has extensive experience in the financial services sector. Currently, he serves as President Signature Medical Group/SVP Signature Healthcare and has held this position for more than one and a half years.

He previously served as CFO or COO for companies like Lionpoint Group and Manikay Partners. Furthermore, he founded Grow Finance, a financial technology company which automates and simplifies the funding process for borrowers.

David Drinkwater has achieved great financial success while also dedicating his time and resources to philanthropy. His generous donation endowed a Faculty Director position at Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability; he is one of many supporters who have given their time and money towards supporting the University’s top priorities – such as College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering, Student & Campus Life.

Achievements and Honors

David Drinkwater has achieved great success as both a business leader and lawyer in the corporate world. His extensive knowledge of the telecommunications sector has allowed him to hold leadership positions with numerous multi-national companies.

He has served on the boards of several organizations and companies, such as TransAlta Renewables, PNG Copper and Rothschild Canada. Furthermore, he was Chief Legal Officer for Nortel Networks Corp.

He serves as Independent Chairman of Hollinger Inc. He holds a Chartered Accountancy certificate and a Master of Laws from London School of Economics, UK.

He has extensive expertise in finance and legal matters, having served as partner at a top-tier law firm and providing advice to large organizations such as Nortel Networks. Prior to that he was an executive at Ontario Power Generation and Group Vice President, Law & General Counsel at Bell Canada.

Personal Life

David Drinkwater has lived in New York his whole life. His interests range from art and music to photography and cinematography.

He has also been an enthusiastic supporter of Cornell University, contributing to the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Student Life and Campus Life.

One of his greatest contributions was to endow a Faculty Director position at Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, to be known as the david Drinkwater Faculty Director. Daryl Nydam currently leads this working group which promotes transdisciplinary approaches for optimizing health among people, animals and the environment through land/ocean use planning, environmental conservation and public health policy creation and implementation.

Net Worth

Despite his fame, Drinkwater remains a humble man who has dedicated himself to helping others. He is a strong supporter of Cornell University and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.

He serves on an ad hoc planning committee for the center, providing advice on future fundraising priorities and campaigns. Furthermore, his kind donation has enabled us to endow a Faculty Director position at the center.

He holds a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics, Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University and Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Richard Ivey School of Business at University Western Ontario. With extensive experience working in real estate – particularly on Massachusetts’ South Shore where coastal properties are abundant – Mr. Smoller has an impressive resume.

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