Guest Opinion: What does Phil mean to me?


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To many people, Phil represents the direct effect that private support has on the university and its constituents. From thousands of private scholarships to named professorships and state-of-the-art buildings, to top-ranked programs, philanthropic support surrounds each individual who sets foot on campus every day. However, Phil expands beyond these boundaries and influences many individuals on a deeper level; Phil is in every opportunity and experience offered on campus.

As I look back at my five years at Iowa, I can say that I have been lucky enough to partake in numerous philanthropic opportunities that have truly changed my life. The Student Philanthropy Group at the University of Iowa Foundation has provided me with invaluable experiences and opportunities that I otherwise would not have had. I have met incredible supporters of the UI and have had the pleasure of hearing their stories. Some give because they’re die-hard Hawkeye fans, others because they met the love of their life here or want to pay tribute to a family member or friend. Some give to support groundbreaking research or because they were inspired by their time on campus. And not everyone who gives to the university is an alum; many individuals give because of the impressive character that is associated with the university. 

Dance Marathon is another amazing opportunity that I’ve experienced. Dance Marathon is much more than just raising money. We’re a community of individuals who work hard year-round to make a difference in the lives of children and families fighting pediatric cancer. Yes, the money we raise has an enormous effect on these families; however, the amount of time dedicated to the cause is truly remarkable.

I’m honored to say that I’m one of those individuals who has been inspired by the philanthropic community that supports the UI. Without these experiences, I would not have found my true calling in life, which is to work in the philanthropic world. And I’m excited to begin my professional journey with Phil this summer as the new Williams Development Fellow at the UI Foundation.

Hannah Travis
Class of 2014

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