For Iowa. . . that’s how it began. With a passion for what our university is today—and what it could be tomorrow. With a vision for changing lives. And with hope for a better world . . . for all of us. You believed in these bold ideas, and you brought them to life through our campaign. Because of you, our dreamers and leaders can shape the future. Our explorers and innovators can ensure a healthier and more sustainable planet. And our visionaries and entrepreneurs can enhance commerce, culture, and communities across the globe.
Thank you for all that you’ve done for Iowa during this historic campaign. Your legacy endures.
DaVida Anderson strives to help underserved learners succeed.
As a doctoral student in higher education and student affairs in the University of Iowa College of Education, her research focuses on educational disparities that create challenges, such as economic inequality. She’s also worked to create a nonprofit—Strong Sister, Silly Sister Inc.—to motivate female students to achieve academic success. DaVida’s efforts help empower individuals to overcome obstacles and create better futures.
“With my research, I hope to be an advocate for those who do not have a voice and to provide better insight into the challenges they encounter,” says DaVida, whose work and journey would not be possible without private support.
When DaVida was deciding where to complete her doctoral degree, scholarship assistance was a driving influence. At Iowa, she receives financial support from the ACT Scholars Program, which promotes multiculturalism and inclusion and was created during the For Iowa. Forever More. campaign.
“The ACT Scholars Program provides an opportunity for underserved learners, like me, to be full-time scholars,” says DaVida. “For a long time, socioeconomic status has been a barrier for a lot of students. Without the ACT scholarship, I would not be able to afford to be a student and focus on my education.”
While ACT’s support has helped DaVida financially, it has also helped her research interests. She worked in ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, which supports research that focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement. “This rare opportunity has made me an ambassador for ACT because their mission and my personal passions strongly correlate,” she says.
In 2010, when University of Iowa College of Engineering professor Jerry Schnoor won a prestigious national award, he knew just what he’d do with his winnings.
His colleague, Craig Just, assistant professor in the UI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, had been advising the student chapters of Engineers Without Borders USA and Engineers for a Sustainable World. The groups had recently made a five-year commitment to helping the people of Kobriti, a small village in Ghana.
Jerry’s $50,000 gift to the program would help Craig take students on the long journey to Kobriti to work on water sanitation, solar energy, and other basic infrastructure projects.
What Jerry didn’t know is that Craig and his wife, Tracy, who is a hygienist in the UI College of Dentistry, had been mulling their own gift. Inspired by Jerry’s generosity, Craig and Tracy matched his gift, resulting in a $100,000 boost for the UI Engineers for a Sustainable World Fund.
Over the next five years, Craig took teams of engineering, medical, and international studies students on annual five-week trips to Ghana. “The people there know exactly what they need,” says Craig. “They just don’t have the resources to make the necessary improvements.”
"There is so much need," says Jerry. "More funding means more students can go, and more good can be done."
In fact, Iowa students are now also doing sustainable, community-driven water and sanitation projects in Nicaragua.
Thanks to the generosity of these remarkable professors, UI students are solving real-world problems. "And that," says Craig, "is what engineers do."
Tyler Finchum is a farm kid who became a business whiz at the University of Iowa.
When he was a junior in high school, Tyler brainstormed a way to help his father, a farmer near Muscatine, Iowa, combat the problem of lost operating manuals. “It stuck in my head that there had to be an easier way to find manuals,” Tyler says—and a new business was born.
Farm Manuals Fast sells digital copies of farm equipment instruction manuals for nearly 500 implements, going all the way back to John Deere’s Poppin’ Johnnies of the 1930s.
“I had no idea there was such a need for a business like this,” says Tyler, who attended the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business and was named Student Entrepreneur of the Year by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization in 2014. “I started it to get some experience in developing a new business and to have something to put on my résumé.”
Tyler was able to grow his fledgling business with help from the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC). JPEC, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, is a cross-disciplinary center that began with a visionary donation from John and Mary Pappajohn, who wanted to expand entrepreneurial education and promote job creation throughout Iowa.
Generous contributions from the Pappajohns and others during the For Iowa. Forever More. campaign have allowed JPEC to continue providing everything from donor-funded offices and meeting spaces to privately supported pitch competitions and start-up awards. The center helps students such as Tyler—who was a 2015 pitch-competition winner—make the most of their UI entrepreneurial experiences.
Now this Iowa entrepreneur’s company is so popular that it’s a top Google result for online “farm manual” searches. And Tyler has been able to create a foundation that donates operating manuals to poor farmers around the world.
“I sort of got lucky and felt the need to give back,” says Tyler, who is grateful for his UI opportunities—and already looking ahead to his next big idea.
Our donors came together for Iowa and gave to a number of areas—scholarships, faculty support, health care, program and research funding, and more. The University of Iowa Foundation will ensure that we follow each donor’s intent while maximizing the benefits for our campus.
Support for the university comes in many ways. Some contributors choose to endow their gifts, which are invested in perpetuity, and the payout provides a steady and predictable source of revenue each year. Others make pledges for the future or give as part of estate planning, and while those dollars may not be available today, they also allow the university to plan for the future.
Our University of Iowa givers keep our university strong, today and forever more.
We celebrate you—and all those who generously supported our For Iowa. Forever More. campaign.
You're helping us create new opportunities for students and faculty, investigate innovative solutions to our world’s biggest challenges, and enhance the lives of Iowans and all those we serve. Now, more than ever, your generosity helps us address the very practical needs of our students and faculty by providing resources—such as scholarships and research funds—at a time when the demand for them is high.
Thanks to you, the University of Iowa and generations of Hawkeyes will continue to flourish and dream big. We are forever grateful to all who gave for Iowa.