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

Feb. 19, 2003

Gift From Palmers To Enhance Hancher Endowment

Iowa natives Lloyd J. and Thelma W. Palmer of Burr Ridge, Ill. have made a $50,000 gift to the University of Iowa Foundation to increase the Hancher Auditorium Endowment, which supports Hancher performances, educational programming, commissions and the maintenance and enhancement of its facility.

"We believe a lot of education takes place beyond the classroom," Lloyd Palmer said. "Hancher offers the opportunity for students, faculty and others in the community to experience a wide variety of live performances. I think it's great to have an arts venue of Hancher's caliber in Iowa City."

Added Thelma Palmer, "Hancher has a 30-year history of enthusiastic and capable leadership, including its current directors, Chuck Swanson and Judy Hurtig. We felt confident making this gift because we know it will be put to good use, not only for the university, but for all Iowans."

Lloyd Palmer, originally of Postville, Iowa, graduated from the UI in 1949 with an accounting degree and joined Ernst & Ernst, CPAs, in Chicago. In 1959 he moved to Nalco Chemical Company and rose through the ranks to become an executive vice president and director with responsibilities as its chief financial officer and chief 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.

"We are touched by this generous gift from Lloyd and Thelma to the Hancher endowment," said Charles Swanson, Hancher's executive director. "Even though they live far enough away that they are unable to attend many performances, they understand the significant role Hancher plays in the cultural life of the UI and the state of Iowa. An endowment is critical in securing the future of any arts organization, and the Palmers' generous gift helps provide assurance that Hancher will sustain high-quality programming for years to come."

Lloyd Palmer served on the UI Foundation Board of Directors from 1990 to 2002 and is a Lifetime Honorary Director. In 1999 he received the Outstanding Accounting Alumnus Award from the UI department of accounting. The Palmers are members of the Presidents Club, which recognizes the UI's most generous contributors, and have been longtime supporters of Hancher and many other UI programs, including the Old Capitol Endowment, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Art and the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, where they established the Lloyd J. and Thelma W. Palmer Faculty Fellowship Fund with a gift of $1 million in 1999.

The Palmers' recent support is part of the UI's $850 million comprehensive campaign, which will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort is raising private funds to help launch a variety of initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI Foundation is acknowledged by the UI as a preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" campaign, visit its web site at

STORY SOURCE: The UI Foundation, 500 Levitt Center for University Advancement, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550.

CONTACT: Margaret Reese, Director of Development, Hancher Auditorium, 319-335-3305 or (800) 648-6973, Writer: Betsy Hickok.

PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: A photo of the Palmers is available for downloading at