Bulletin News

Robert C. Howe Honored for Community Service


Robert “Bob” C. Howe has long been a respected and positive force in the Cortland community, in local politics and at SUNY Cortland.

Howe, a long-time member of the Cortland College Foundation Board, was recognized on Sept. 18 as SUNY Cortland’s 2014 College-Community Appreciation Award recipient. He was honored during a dinner event in the College’s Corey Union Function Room.

Howe’s long relationship with the College began when his mother, Myrl Rose Crocker Howe, earned her teaching certificate in elementary education from the College in 1961.  In honor of his mother’s affection for the College, Howe funded two SUNY Cortland scholarships in 1998; one to assist a future educator and a second to help a local student. His generosity didn’t end there.Although he graduated from a different university, Howe joined the Cortland College Foundation Board of Directors in 1998 and continues to serve. His experience, leadership and wisdom have helped the College lay a strong foundation for the future. Howe is a vigorous advocate for SUNY Cortland’s educational mission, and his generosity places him among the institution’s top individual donors.

In Fall 2006, Howe loaned a valuable collection of antique European and American porcelain and other furnishings that had been in his family for three generations to be exhibited as “A Passion for Porcelain: The Crocker Collection of Decorative Arts,” at Dowd Gallery. He has since donated the collection along with many home furnishings to the Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House and made substantial gifts to support the gallery.

Howe, of Cortland, N.Y., has served as the Republican election commissioner for Cortland County since 1996 and is past chair of the Cortland County Republican Party. In 2002, he became the first Cortland County election commissioner to serve as president of the New York State Association of Election Commissioners.

Robert C. Howe
Robert "Bob" C. Howe

In addition to the foundation, Howe sits on the boards of the Cortland Rural Cemetery Foundation and Hospice of Cortland County. He is an active member of the Cortland Rotary Club.

He earned a bachelor of science in business administration from Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Howe began his career in New York as a buyer for J.C. Penney. Later, he became a licensed funeral director and served as Cortland County’s coroner. Howe also sold real estate for 15 years as a licensed agent and was the 1989 president of the Ithaca Board of Realtors.

The College-Community Appreciation Award is sponsored by the College Council. It was created in 1985 as a means of thanking persons who have assisted SUNY Cortland in a significant manner. Howe is the 30th citizen to receive the honor.