Phil's Day 2012: Giving and Receiving at the University of Iowa

BY GUEST COLUMN | APRIL 18, 2012 6:30 AM

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Philanthropy is good for everyone — the giver and the receiver.

That's why my husband, Jerre (1965 B.B.A.), and I set goals for ourselves to reach out and help create future leaders in business, medicine, research, and education. We both believe that the University of Iowa is truly one of the best universities anywhere, in all aspects — and also is one of the best places for us to help prepare these leaders.

We both were privileged to grow up in Iowa and to attend the University of Iowa, which set our lifetime foundations of values and caring for others. The UI Hospitals and Clinics group is very important to us — this is where our sons were born many years ago.

Because of these important connections, we've been happy to give to a place that means so much to us. Jerre joined the Tippie College of Business Board of Visitors in 1988, and soon after that, we became members of the UI Presidents Club. In 1991, Jerre also joined the UI Foundation Board of Directors, and he received the UI Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement in 1992. For more than 16 years, he also has taught graduate classes in the business school with Professor and Dean Emeritus Gary Fethke, and Jerre has spoken to many groups at the university about leadership and philanthropy.

I, too, have been involved with our alma mater, joining the UI Foundation's board, in Jerre's place, in 1998 and serving as campaign vice head of the university's successful $1 billion fundraising campaign, Good. Better. Best. Iowa, which ended in 2006. Now, the two of us are serving as co-heads of Iowa First: Our Campaign for Breakthrough Medicine, the current fundraising initiative for the UI health sciences, and in 2008, I received the UI Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award for Friends of the University.

Today, Jerre continues to work as a corporate chairman and CEO so that we can sustain our commitment to giving back to others — and to supporting our alma mater. UI is a cost-effective organization blessed with great leaders and great faculty. Its resources help make the whole world's future brighter.

We believe that giving of our time, talent, and treasure is the best way to receive meaningful satisfaction in our own lives, and we are grateful for what philanthropy has allowed us to do for others — and for our remarkable university.

Mary Joy Stead
UI Foundation Board of Directors

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