The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


Director of Development
UI College of Business Administration
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-3305

Release: Immediate

Gift from UI business graduate will support UI Entrepreneurial Center

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa business school graduate Merle J. Volding of Dallas has made a $100,000 gift of stock to the University of Iowa Foundation in support of the UI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC).

In announcing the gift, Gary Fethke, dean of the UI College of Business Administration, and Edward M. Moldt, director of the Entrepreneurial Center, said Volding's generosity will directly benefit students who are learning how to research, launch, and manage new businesses.

"Merle Volding is a consummate entrepreneur," said Moldt. "He has created a number of highly successful business ventures throughout his career, and he excels at recognizing and assessing opportunity. The fact that he's chosen to invest in our Entrepreneurial Center and to share his expertise with our students will be of enormous benefit to our entire program."

A 1949 graduate of the UI business school, Volding retired in 1997 from BancTec, Inc., a leading Dallas-based supplier of hardware and software for the financial industry. Volding founded BancTec in 1972. At the time of his retirement, the company's annual sales exceeded $550 million. Volding has also served as president and director of Practical Management Associates, Inc., of Dallas; and chairman of Ideal Learning, Inc. He has served on the boards of numerous technology-based corporations.

"We are especially grateful for Merle's support because it comes at such a critical time for the Entrepreneurial Center," said Fethke. "With so much promise in Iowa growth industries such as medical technology and biomedical engineering, many of our students are eager to make the most of the unique offerings available here at the UI, where our entrepreneurial program is shared among the business, engineering, and health sciences colleges. Merle's gift will enable us to expand our educational programming, particularly in the areas of business communications and marketing."

Founded in 1987 as the Entrepreneurial Management Institute within the UI business school, the center was renamed in 1996 following a $1.5 million commitment from Des Moines venture capitalist and UI business graduate John Pappajohn. JPEC was recently recognized as one of the nation's "Top Ten Up and Coming Entrepreneurial Programs" by Success magazine.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide resources for professorships, scholarships, building renovations, equipment, technology, and other forms of support for the UI.