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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Dec. 7, 2007

Culver, Pappajohn will celebrate with December graduates

by Anne Krapfl

An estimated 1,688 students will receive degrees from Iowa State University next weekend, and Iowa entrepreneurship champion John Pappajohn will receive an honorary degree.

A graduate ceremony, honoring an estimated 256 master's students and 107 doctoral students, will begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, in Stephens Auditorium. Karl Gschneidner, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering (materials science and engineering) and senior scientist at Ames Lab, will give the address.

For more than 50 years, Gschneidner has conducted research on the magnetic and electrical properties of rare-earth metals. His most noted work has been in magnetic refrigeration. Gschneidner was elected to the National Academy of Engineering last February, and in March he will receive the 2008 Acta Materialia Gold Medal, one of the top international awards in materials science.

Gov. Culver will speak

The undergraduate ceremony, honoring an estimated 1,325 students receiving bachelor's degrees, will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, in Hilton. Gov. Chet Culver will deliver the address.

Culver was inaugurated as governor of Iowa in January. Previously, he served as Iowa secretary of state (1999-2006), and as a government and history teacher and football and basketball coach at Des Moines Roosevelt High School (1994-98). He began his career as an environmental and consumer advocate in the state attorney general's office.

At the undergraduate ceremony, Des Moines businessman John Pappajohn will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The degree recognizes his leadership in entrepreneurship and his generosity in supporting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education programs in Iowa.

The Pappajohns

Pappajohn and his wife Mary's gift of $10 million in 1996 started the Pappajohn Centers for Entrepreneurship at Iowa State, the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, Drake University and North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City. These programs helped start 2,100 new companies employing 4,400 people. Pappajohn's personal involvement with ISU's programs helped Iowa State earn recognition as one of the country's top university entrepreneurship programs.

For many years, the Pappajohns have collected art pieces, many of them intended to be displayed outdoors. The Pappajohns now are donating much of this art to the Des Moines Art Center, to be placed in the open area at the western approach to the downtown area.

Pappajohn currently is president of Equity Dynamics Inc., a venture capital company; and the sole owner of Pappajohn Capital Resources, a capital firm that develops high-tech ventures in health care.

Pappajohn also will speak briefly.

Tickets are not required for either graduation ceremony.

In varying degrees of formality, the colleges also will honor their graduating students next weekend at college events. A list of all graduation activities follows.

Fall commencement
Dec. 14-15

December 14

  • 2-4 p.m., Reception, honoring graduating international students, Sun Room, MU, 4-0376.
  • 4:30 p.m., College of Human Sciences, ceremony for undergraduate students, Stephens (6 p.m. reception for undergraduate and graduate students, first floor lobby, Scheman), 4-7002.
  • 5-7 p.m., College of Business, ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students, Hilton, 4-3656.
  • 5:30-7 p.m., College of Engineering, informal ceremony and reception for graduate students, 220 Scheman, 4-8857.
  • 8 p.m., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, ceremony for undergraduate students, Hilton, 4-7742.
  • 8 p.m., Commencement, for master's and doctoral students in all colleges, Stephens, 4-9372.

December 15

  • 8:30 a.m., College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, reception for undergraduate students (9:30 a.m. ceremony), Stephens, 4-2766.
  • 9 a.m., College of Engineering, receptions (with continental breakfast) for undergraduate students, (9:30-10:30 a.m., recognition programs), by department, Scheman, Hilton and Hoover locations, 4-8857.
  • 9:30 a.m., College of Design, reception for undergraduate and graduate students (10-11 a.m. ceremony, auditorium), Lightfoot Forum, Design, 4-7428.
  • 1:30 p.m., Commencement, for undergraduate students in all colleges, Hilton, 4-9372.


An estimated 1,688 students will receive degrees from Iowa State University Dec. 14-15, and Iowa entrepreneurship champion John Pappajohn will receive an honorary degree.