Voices of Philanthropy: Sarah Fisher Gardial


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During last year’s inaugural We Are Phil faculty/staff giving initiative, the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business responded with gusto to the challenge of increasing employee participation in the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign For Iowa. Forever More.

Humility won’t permit me to reveal the final participation rate for our faculty and staff, but let me just say that it rhymes with “91 percent.” I have been asked many times how we achieved that result (and whether we can meet or exceed it this fall). I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do know the following: Philanthropy is the natural outcome of a rich mixture of gratitude, pride, and commitment.

Every day I am happy to come to work on this campus. It is not perfect — no organization is. But despite inevitable challenges, I feel truly privileged to work with good, good people on a beautiful campus in an amazing community. I am grateful to work for the Tippie College of Business and the University of Iowa.

I am proud to be part of an institution that transforms lives, creates leaders, and supports discovery and scholarship that change the world. I have traveled throughout Iowa, across the United States, and around the world on behalf of the University of Iowa and the Tippie College of Business, and I have been continually confronted by the astounding accomplishments of our alumni. Before I came here, I might have marveled and asked, “From *Iowa*?”  Now I know, “Of course, from Iowa.” The UI community is accomplishing great things in Iowa and far beyond, and I take tremendous pride in being part of its continuing tradition of excellence.

Gratitude and pride are wonderful feelings, but it requires commitment to transform those feelings into action. The promise of public higher education, generally, and the UI, specifically, deserves the commitment of my time, talent, and treasure. That’s why I am “Phil.” My giving is simply the manifestation of that commitment. It says that I am “all in.”   

Please join me in going “all in” for Iowa. Show your gratitude, pride, and commitment to the UI and to its future. Together, “We Are Phil,” and together, we make the UI the amazing institution that it is. 

Dean Sarah Fisher Gardial
Tippie College of Business
two years employed at the University of Iowa

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