Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
October 23, 1998

College of Business receives $10 million gift

by Dalene Abner, ISU Foundation

A $10 million gift from Russell and Ann Gerdin, Coralville, will launch a $35.5 million initiative for the College of Business, President Martin Jischke announced today (Oct. 23) in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

"This gift represents an incredible investment for the future of Iowa State in terms of not only educating students who will be business leaders but also in the ways Iowa State can develop a stronger economy for the state of Iowa," said Jischke.

"In selecting Iowa State to receive their magnificent gift, the Gerdins have indicated their faith in this university's ability to become a business education leader in the 21st century. For their vision and support, Iowa State today launches an aggressive effort to pursue a new facility that we recommend be named the Gerdin Business Building," Jischke added.

Gerdin is president, chairman and chief executive officer of Heartland Express Inc., Coralville, a trucking firm he founded in 1978. The company has been listed in Forbes magazine's "Best 200 Small Companies in America" 10 times in the past 11 years.

Gerdin is a member of the College of Business Advisory Council.

The Gerdins' gift was made as part of the ISU Foundation's Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best. It is the largest ever made to the College of Business.

"This gift shows the impact of Campaign Destiny toward achieving the goals of our strategic plan, as have leadership gifts in the colleges of Engineering, Agriculture, Design, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences," Jischke said. "Now our College of Business is pursuing its vision to become the best.

"Through this initiative, Iowa State's ability to serve the business education needs of Iowans will improve significantly," he said.

The initiative signals a period of growth for Iowa State's youngest college, including a $21.5 million facility to be built once state and private funds become available. Other components include a $5 million faculty endowment, $4 million scholarship endowment and $5 million for program enhancements.

The College of Business was created in 1984. It offers undergraduate programs in accounting, finance, management, management information services, marketing and transportation and logistics. The college also offers full-time and Saturday MBA programs and graduate degrees in industrial relations and business administrative services.

Jischke said the new building will be located in a highly visible area of campus. He said he anticipates it will position the college to achieve "top 10" status among comparable land-grant institutions.

Currently located in Carver Hall, the College of Business faces space limitations and technological constraints for classes, outreach, research and corporate recruiting. Several programs are located off campus, including the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship and the Small Business Development Center.

The $35.5 million initiative involves public and private funding, with $10 million coming from the state and the remainder from private sources. The Iowa Board of Regents approved the proposal in September.

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