The Bryan L. Knapp Point Scholarship
For the benefit of undergraduate LGBT students of distinction from the New York City area attending Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Bryan Knapp’s profession and life’s work was to educate, develop, and train people. He was an outstanding human resources expert who reached the pinnacle of his field in both the profit and non-profit sectors and who gave generously of his wisdom and his time to organizations and people in need.
Bryan grew up and attended public schools in Brooklyn, New York. In 1961, seeking academic challenge and broader horizons, he enrolled in Cornell University. Cornell proved to be a life changing experience for Bryan. There, he obtained a superb education and the skill base for his career. Equally important, Cornell shaped his inquiring, sharp mind and expanded his intellectual and social horizons. Bryan loved the university and was involved throughout his life with Cornell. He graduated in 1965 with a degree from Cornell’s College of Industrial and Labor Relations and set off for the University of Minnesota, where he earned a master’s degree in industrial psychology.
After leaving Minnesota, Bryan began a rapid rise in the corporate world, despite the difficulties of being a gay man in corporate America. His obvious professional talents combined with his warm and caring style made him an invaluable leader and advisor to senior corporate executives.
Bryan became a senior human resources officer at American Express and then the head of Human Resources for Shearson Lehman Brothers, J. Crew, and MTV Networks. After many years in the corporate world, Bryan made a career change, deciding to work in the non-profit sector.
Not long before his untimely death, Bryan became the head of human resources at the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the most influential environmental organizations in the United States. He loved the work and the mission of NRDC. Bryan had long been active in a variety of non-profit activities, many centered on the gay community. In his will, he provided for a number of these organizations, along with Cornell University.
Bryan was a great friend who offered a warm heart, a wisecrack, a hot meal, and professional advice to innumerable people. The many friends and colleagues who became part of Bryan's extended family wish to honor his desire to learn, his hunger for making new friends in new surroundings, and his philanthropic idealism by endowing a scholarship in his name at Cornell University.