Nov. 5, 2008
IOWA CITY, Iowa – A pair of prominent native Iowans and Iowa business leaders, Bruce Rastetter of Alden and Richard O. Jacobson of Des Moines, have each made a gift commitment of $5 million to the University of Iowa Foundation to support the renovation and expansion of administrative space and training facilities used by staff and student-athletes of the football program at the University of Iowa.
Gary Barta, the UI’s director of athletics, said the leadership gifts by Jacobson and Rastetter will help ensure the continued success of the project which received approval for further study by the Iowa Board of Regents, governing body for Iowa’s public universities and special schools, in October.
The project is part of the next phases of the master plan for the UI’s football facilities. It will include expansion and improvements to the Jacobson Athletics Building and improvements to the UI’s current indoor practice facility known as the “Bubble.” The construction of the Ron and Margaret Kenyon Outdoor Practice Facility and the renovation of historic Kinnick Stadium were phases 1 and 2 of the master plan, respectively.
“Bruce and Dick are loyal and generous friends of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Their leadership on this project will help ensure that our football program continues to have state-of-the-art training facilities. Their support and confidence is very much appreciated by me, Kirk Ferentz, the coaches and our student-athletes,” said Barta.
“On behalf of all of the hundreds of student-athletes who will benefit from Bruce and Dick’s generosity, I want to thank each of them for the leadership, their loyalty and their friendship. Bruce and Dick are difference-makers not only for our program but also for our University and our state, and we can’t say thank you often enough,” said Ferentz, the UI’s head football coach.
“Bruce and Dick are loyal and generous friends of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Their leadership on this project will help ensure that our football program continues to have state-of-the-art training facilities. Their support and confidence is very much appreciated by me, Kirk Ferentz, the coaches and our student-athletes.”
“I also want to express my appreciation for the support of this project by the Board of Regents and the leadership of our athletics department and the University. Like the outdoor practice facility and the renovation of our football stadium, it is critical to our success that we stay current in all aspects of our football program including the facilities that we use during the week and on game days.”
A UI graduate, Rastetter is a longtime supporter of the University and a member of the Presidents Club, which recognizes the UI’s most generous contributors. He is chief executive officer of Hawkeye Energy Holdings, one of the nation’s largest producers of ethanol, and previously owned Heartland Pork, one of the nation’s largest producers of pork.
“I love the state of Iowa and the University of Iowa. The university provided me with opportunity and equipped me with the tools to be successful in our great state. I am pleased to be able to help give back to those that have helped me and so many others,” said Rastetter.
“On behalf of all of the hundreds of student-athletes who will benefit from Bruce and Dick’s generosity, I want to thank each of them for the leadership, their loyalty and their friendship. Bruce and Dick are difference-makers not only for our program but also for our University and our state, and we can’t say thank you often enough.”
“I am so proud of the University of Iowa, its football program and the leadership of Kirk Ferentz. I am excited to help ensure the program continues to grow and has first-class facilities in order to compete with any other program in the nation,” he continued.
Jacobson, chairman of the board emeritus of Jacobson Companies, is also a longtime supporter of the University of Iowa including the UI’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the UI Tippie College of Business, to which he donated $3 million in 2007 to establish the Richard O. Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship. In 1995 Jacobson made the naming gift for the Jacobson Athletics Building, and in 2000 he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the UI Alumni Association.
“I am extremely proud to be an Iowan and I have a deep appreciation and admiration for our state. This state has been very, very good to me. I enjoy giving back to the place where I grew up,” said Jacobson.
“I also have been fortunate to have the opportunity to support all of our Regent institutions – Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, and of course, the University of Iowa. I believe strongly in what they do and how well they do it.”
The gift commitments by Rastetter and Jacobson equal the single largest gifts received by the UI Foundation for intercollegiate athletics. They match the $5 million gifts made by Russell and Ann Gerdin in 2002 for the Gerdin Athletic Learning Center, W.A. “Bill” and Nancy Krause in 2004 for the Kinnick Stadium renovation, and Dale and Marilyn Howard in 2008 for enhancements to Carver-Hawkeye Arena and for the UI football program.
The University of Iowa acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the UI. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at www.uiowafoundation.org.