Charles J. Jarvie, ’58, MBA ’59

Samuel C. Johnson Distinguished Service Award Recipient

A marketing veteran with than 50 years of experience in executive management and marketing for such giants as Dr. Pepper and Procter & Gamble, Chuck Jarvie ’58, MBA ’59, has devoted his considerable expertise and countless hours and energy to Johnson’s growth and development over more than five decades. In recognition of his immeasurable contributions to the school, Jarvie was honored with the Samuel C. Johnson Distinguished Service Award, a lifetime achievement award that recognizes extraordinary alumni for their sustained and exemplary commitment to Johnson and its alumni.
Jarvie, who is chairman of Equity Appreciation Partners LLC and managing partner of Procter Partners, said he is honored to receive the award and, more specifically, honored to have gone to Cornell. “The award is for a ‘lifetime of service,’ but it wasn’t service for me,” said Jarvie. “It was a labor of love,” says Jarvie.
That’s a whole lot of love: Jarvie has been giving back to his alma mater in time, expertise, and funding since graduating. That includes being a major participant in capital campaigns, working closely with Johnson deans and Cornell presidents, serving on the Johnson Advisory Council since 1968, and, together with his wife, Janet, creating the Charles and Janet Jarvie Executive Director of Marketing Fund to support hiring a senior marketing professional at Johnson.
Jarvie, who lives and breathes marketing, likes to joke that he fell into his calling because he was the “worst accounting student Hal Bierman had ever passed.” In a more serious tone, he explains that, during his time at Cornell’s business school (then known as the Graduate School of Business and Public Administration, or B&PA for short), he found not only that he enjoyed marketing and had an aptitude for it, but also that top employers were beginning to recognize the importance of hiring good marketing professionals. “For me, it was a combination of my natural affinity and what was hot in the marketplace,” he says.
Jarvie comes from a long line of Cornellians: He notes that his father, an executive dean of the State University of New York, was involved with the School of Industrial and Labor Relations in its early days. His wife and brother-in-law are Cornell graduates, as are the Jarvies’ son and two grandchildren. “The Cornell roots for me run very deep, and the Johnson roots flow off of that,” he says. “My career started with my very good experience at the B&PA School, where I met a couple of professors that turned me on; that’s how I found my career, and I’m grateful for that.”
Jarvie is happy to have put his powerful marketing expertise to work for the school. “Over the years, I have enjoyed growing with the school,” Jarvie says. “I first got involved on the Advisory Council when I was 32 years old. And it’s been fun growing with them.”
Like many Johnson and Cornell alumni, Jarvie feels a deep gratitude and attachment to his alma mater, believes solidly in its future, and wants to support it in any way he can. “Cornell and Johnson are excellent educators, and if you have a connection, it’s a place where you can make a contribution. We all have an obligation to do that,” he says.
Jarvie believes that Johnson is now at a crucial point in its history. “The school has been and is collecting an inventory of assets that are geared to 21st-century marketing and education,” he says. Growing its relationships with other Cornell units makes the school even stronger. “With the juxtaposition of the engineering school and Cornell’s other assets, and Johnson sitting right next to that, you’ve got an unprecedented structure,” Jarvie says. And the addition of Cornell Tech is a game changer: “All of a sudden, we have something that our competitors don’t, and never will, have.”
In addition, “I have never felt better about the management of the school than I do today,” says Jarvie. “If you know me, you know that I don’t say that lightly.”