IOWA STATE RECEIVES $80-MILLION GIFT
AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University has received an $80 million gift, the
largest in its history as well as one of the largest to a public university
in the United States.
The gift's history began in 1996 when Iowa State announced a $34 million
gift from an Iowa couple who wished to remain anonymous. The commitment
included a $4 million trust and an estate valued at $30 million and kicked
off the University's record-setting $300 million Campaign Destiny: To
Become the Best, the largest private fund-raising initiative in ISU's
"We have now received this estate gift, and its current value is estimated
at $80 million," said Iowa State University President Martin C. Jischke,
when he announced the gift today on central campus. "It was the donors'
intent not to have the total value known until their deaths."
The gift is the largest made to a college or university in Iowa, the eighth
largest to a U.S. public university, and the 26th largest to any U.S.
university, according to the Aug. 20, 1999, listing, "Major Gifts and
Grants to Higher Education since 1967," maintained by the "Chronicle of
The gift, which will be used to establish an endowment for Iowa State's
College of Agriculture, also is believed to be the largest to any U.S.
college of agriculture, according to members of the National Agricultural
Alumni and Development Association, Inc.
The donors requested that the estimated $4-million annual income from the
endowment be used to support agronomy programs through such enhancements as
endowed faculty chairs and distinguished professors, scholarships and
fellowships, and research and education programs.
Agriculture has been a focus of Iowa State since being designated as the
first land-grant institution in 1864. The College of Agriculture is the
third largest at Iowa State for undergraduate enrollment, reflecting a
10-year upward trend. In addition to more than 3,600 students, the college
has 16 departments, offers 26 specialties, and is involved in 360 research
projects. The Department of Agronomy, founded in 1902, has some 400
graduate and undergraduate students and more than 200 faculty and staff
"Programs in plant breeding and genomics and plant stress, programs focused
on natural resources, farm profitability, the security of our food supply
and distance education -- all would reflect the donors' broad interests,"
said David Topel, dean of the College of Agriculture.
Patrick S. Schnable
Professor of Plant Genetics
G405 Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011 USA
schnable at iastate.edu