Two alumni who wish to remain anonymous recently made a gift of more than $22 million to Iowa State University, benefiting two priorities on campus.
A portion of the gift will likely support Iowa State’s planned Student Innovation Center. Public funding for the project will be considered in the 2015 state legislative session.
The Student Innovation Center will be a highly flexible, dynamic space that encourages experimentation, innovation and interdisciplinary investigation. The center will enable students to continue the Iowa State tradition of blending science with practice to engage in practical, hands-on experiences they can take out into the workforce. This project is a public/private partnership, with $40 million in proposed funding by the state, and $40 million from private sources.
The balance of the gift will go toward creating an endowed dean’s chair in the College of Human Sciences. Dean Pamela White will be the inaugural holder.
Dean White has been a member of the Iowa State faculty since 1975 and has served in several leadership roles since then, including interim chair of the department of food science and human nutrition, interim dean of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences – and as interim dean when the college was combined with the College of Education to form the College of Human Sciences. She has served as dean of the college since April 2009.
The dean’s chair will have a tremendous impact on the future of the college. The chair will provide the ability to pursue innovative initiatives and programs outside the realm of normal academics and expand the breadth and depth of students’ experiences.
“We are extremely thankful to this wonderful couple for their extraordinary generosity toward their alma mater,” said Iowa State University President Steven Leath. “Through their gift, they assure that the mission of this great university will be advanced for generations to come through the creation of a facility that fosters innovative, interdisciplinary learning and also by enhancing educational opportunities in the College of Human Sciences.”
The gift was made through the Iowa State University Foundation, a private, nonprofit corporation dedicated to securing and managing gifts and grants that benefit Iowa State University.