Debbie and Jerry Ivy are making an impact on business students
How do Debbie and Jerry Ivy (’53 industrial administration) measure the impact of their gift to Iowa State University?
“The most fun thing for us to do is to come to campus and see students,” Debbie said during a spring visit to campus. “The students we saw this morning at the meeting, the ones we heard at lunch, this is what it’s all about. Giving opportunities to become our best selves and to be able to serve others.”
The couple met with leaders from several Ivy College of Business student organizations during a visit to campus April 25–28. They enjoyed an informal lunch with 12 student leaders, which culminated with an impromptu trip to the top of the Campanile.
A portion of the Ivys’ historic $50 million gift is being used to support student organizations, resulting in a substantial increase in college funding for student-led organizations. The Ivy College of Business is home to more than 25 undergraduate and graduate student organizations that foster professional development, community engagement, and global citizenship.
“We know that involvement in clubs and organizations contributes to student success and retention and provides valuable leadership opportunities for our students,” said Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide Ivy student organizations with increased financial support thanks to Debbie and Jerry’s vision
Student organizations have used the Ivy funds to attend conferences, take the StrengthsFinder assessment, and expand their marketing and outreach efforts. The organizations reapply for funding on an annual basis.
The couple’s lunch meeting with current students coincided with the ISU Alumni Association’s 2019 Distinguished Awards Celebration on April 26, where Debbie was recognized with an Honorary Alumni Award.
Established in 1968, the Honorary Alumni Award is the highest honor given by Iowa State University through the ISU Alumni Association to individuals who are not graduates of Iowa State and who have made significant contributions to Iowa State’s welfare, reputation, prestige, and pursuit of excellence.
The ivy gift at work
In September 2017, Debbie and Jerry Ivy announced their historic $50 million gift, which named the Ivy College of Business.
Their gift established an endowed fund that will eventually provide almost $2 million annually to the college for short- and long-term priorities.
- Their investment is already making a difference in several key areas:
- Expanded scholarship opportunities for students, with a focus on transfer students.
- Increased support for faculty research and professional development.
- Funding student internships with startup companies in the ISU Research Park.
- Funding cash prizes for the CYstarters student pitch competition.