July 16, 2014
The Department of City and Regional Planning at College of Environmental Design, Berkeley is the recipient of two endowments from the estate of Robert “Bob” Cornish (B.A. Arch. '51; M.C.P. ' 64). An endowment of $750,000 was made in support of the faculty. The Robert S. Cornish Endowed Chair in Regional Planning, funds a visiting professorship in regional planning with a distinguished background in practice, who demonstrates a clear and continuing interest in the area of integrated regional planning. An endowed program fund of $75,000 will create the Robert S. Cornish Endowed Fund in Regional Planning to support teaching, research, and public service activities associated with the Robert S. Cornish Endowed Chair in Regional Planning.
Bob Cornish dedicated his life to education and urban planning. He attended U.C. Berkeley in 1951 and earned a B.A. in Architecture. After graduation he traveled and worked as an architecture-planner in Stockholm, Sweden. He returned to CED, and the new Wurster Hall, to become one of the first M.C.P. graduates in 1964. Cornish applied his learning at a number of well-respected firms including the offices of Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander in Los Angeles, and Victor Gruen in Beverly Hills. He became principal planner for the Tahoe Regional Plan, as well as principal planner for the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) where he authored the regional open space system for the nine-county San Francisco Bay region.
In 1969 Cornish joined the faculty of Texas A&M where he taught urban and regional planning for 20 years. In 1968 he was granted a Fulbright Award providing him travel to Iran as a senior scholar at Tehran University. After the Shah fell in 1979, Bob Cornish was forced to flee Tehran, and he transferred to Stockholm to teach classes in urban planning at the Stockholm University.
In 1989 he retired to Kirkland, Washington and became involved in growth management issues in the Puget Sound region. He founded the Senior Action Committee of the Washington State Chapter of APA. In 2000, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
With this generous gift to DCRP, along with his life-long commitment to the practice of urban and regional planning, Robert Cornish leaves a tremendous legacy that will be remembered for generations.