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Henry B. Tippie College of Business
Director of Development
Hancher Auditorium
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Release: Nov. 16, 1999

Illinois couple gives $1 million to College of Business, Hancher

IOWA CITY, Iowa–Iowa natives Lloyd J. Palmer and Thelma Palmer of Burr Ridge, Ill., are contributing more than $1 million to the University of Iowa’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business and to Hancher Auditorium. Lloyd Palmer–a former classmate of Tippie–said Tippie’s recent gift of $30 million to the Iowa business school helped inspire the couple to make their own generous contribution to the UI Foundation.

The couple’s gift provides $1 million for distinguished faculty fellowships in the College of Business and $50,000 for Hancher Auditorium Millennium Festival programming.

Lloyd Palmer, originally of Postville, Iowa, graduated from the University of Iowa in 1949 with an accounting degree and became an auditor with Ernst & Whinney of Chicago. In 1959 he joined Nalco Chemical Company as an auditor and rose through the ranks to become its chief financial and administrative officer. He retired from Nalco in 1986. Thelma Palmer, also of Postville, attended the UI from 1944 to 1946. The Palmers have actively supported many areas of the university for more than 30 years.

Lloyd Palmer, a member of the UI Foundation board of directors, noted that his UI degree was instrumental in achieving his success. Working with Tippie College of Business administrators and UI Foundation staff, the Palmers decided that providing faculty support would be an appropriate way to show their appreciation for, and make a lasting contribution to, the College of Business.

"We hope our gift will allow the university and the college to retain and recruit promising faculty. Competition for high-quality faculty is very intense out there," Palmer said.

Gary Fethke, dean of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, said the Lloyd and Thelma Palmer Faculty Fellowships will provide salary support and allocations for research-related expenses for promising faculty. He hailed the Palmers’ generosity and credited them with helping the college maintain and enhance its excellent reputation.

"Friends like Lloyd and Thelma Palmer are crucial to our efforts to make the Henry B. Tippie College of Business one of the top business schools in the nation. They have made a gift that will have a lasting impact on the university and the college by ensuring that faculty in the early stages of their careers will have the best possible opportunities to do their work," Fethke said.

The portion of the gift earmarked for Hancher Auditorium’s Millennium Festival will support the commission of 20 new pieces of work for the stage and arts education programs throughout the 1999-2000 performance season. Lloyd Palmer expressed that the arts are an integral part of a university education, and that by giving to Hancher, he and his wife are giving to the university as a whole.

"Support for the arts cuts across college lines. It’s for the benefit of everyone in the university and the community," Palmer said of the Hancher gift.

Wallace Chappell, director of Hancher, noted that this gift comes on the heels of $10,000 in previous Millennium Festival support from the Palmers. He said the couple’s gifts will have an enduring influence on the arts.

"Lloyd and Thelma have helped Hancher enhance its reputation for providing world-class performing arts to the Midwest. Their generosity will be felt in innumerable ways–it’s really very important to our mission," Chappell said.

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 support for professorships, scholarships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research funds, and other support for the UI.