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Cornell University

Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Awards

Cornell alumni Gerald Robinson '54, Margot Robinson '55, Robert Appel '53, and Helen Appel '55 established the Robinson-Appel award to recognize and honor students who have had significant involvement in community service by providing support for their projects, which address a community's social needs or problems. Three projects are selected, and each receives $2,500 to further a community service project initiated and proposed by Cornell students. The focus of the project's efforts may be the Cornell campus, the Ithaca community, or a location outside of Tompkins County (but within the United States and its territories). 

The Award is granted on the basis of:

  • The candidate's proposal to use the award money for an innovative approach to a social, governmental, or legal problem within a community.
  • This proposal should demonstrate the student's initiative and ability to translate ideals into the practical result of meeting community needs. Proposals should include a timeline of completion, plans for evaluation, and a budget outline. All applications must be accompanied by supporting documentation and/or a letter of nomination from agency personnel or a member of Cornell's faculty or staff.
  • Previous community service. To better judge the capability of carrying out the project, the committee needs an understanding of previous experience in humanitarian service during the preceding twelve-month period.
  • Projects should not be part of academic coursework, dissertation research, or for academic credit, but may be an outgrowth of previous work or course experience
  • Funding for travel or salary is not eligible.

If you have any questions about the application process, please email