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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 27, 2006

UI To Celebrate Henry B. Tippie's 80th Birthday

Henry B. Tippie, the Belle Plaine farm boy who studied business at the University of Iowa and went on to help build multi-million-dollar companies, will turn 80 next month. To celebrate, the university will host a daylong birthday party honoring the man for whom its college of business is named.

The Friday, Jan. 26, celebration will include a reception, dinner, faculty luncheon and a question-and-answer session. In addition, teams of students from the Henry B. Tippie College of Business will compete in a trivia contest by answering questions about Tippie's life and work, with the winning team receiving a cash gift from Tippie and dining with the guest of honor at his birthday dinner.

"From his first $5 gift in 1953, Henry B. Tippie has consistently supported the University of Iowa," said William (Curt) Hunter, dean of the Tippie College of Business. "Beyond his generous financial support, we have all benefited also from his advice and leadership. We want our current students to know about the man whose name is on this College where they are receiving such an outstanding education."

Tippie's birthday celebration includes several events that are open to the public. A question-and-answer session with Tippie begins at 11 a.m. in the Tenneco Colloquium (Room S401) in the Pappajohn Business Building and a reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Howe Galleria in the Pappajohn Business Building.

In addition, the finals of the Tippie Trivia Challenge, matching the final two teams in the weeklong competition, will be held at 3 p.m. in the Tippie Auditorium (Room W151) in the Pappajohn Business Building. The winning team receives a cash gift from Tippie and the chance to dine with him and his wife, Patricia, at the dinner that evening.

Tippie will also meet for a private lunch with faculty members who hold professorships, chairs or fellowships that bear his name. An invitation-only dinner will also be held in the evening.

Raised on a farm near Belle Plaine, Tippie enlisted at age 17 in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, eventually serving as a member of the 20th Air Force in the South Pacific. He then came to study at the University of Iowa on the GI bill, completing his degree within 24 consecutive calendar months. He received his Bachelor's of Science degree from the College of Commerce with a major in accounting in 1949. His first work as a graduate was with CPA firms in Des Moines and Omaha, where he acquired the necessary experience to pass the CPA exam in 1951. He later was hired as a controller for Delaware-based John W. Rollins Associates.  

Since then, Tippie has owned or led many other companies. Currently, Tippie is chairman of the Board for Dover Motorsports, Inc. as well as Dover Towns Gaming and Entertainment, Inc. In addition, he is a director of Rollins, Inc., RPC, Inc., and Marine Products Corporation. All five companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

He also owns Tippie Ranch, his Texas home with more than 32,000 acres of land and more than 5,000 head of cattle, and Tippie Services, a management consulting company.

Through the years, Tippie has been highly recognized for his many professional accomplishments and civic contributions. He was elected into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. in 1996, and today serves as a director. At the University of Iowa, he received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the UI Alumni Association in 1981; the UI Outstanding Accounting Alumnus Award from the Department of Accounting in 1989; and the prestigious UI Hancher-Finkbine Medallion for Life Achievement in 2002.

Tippie has always remembered his alma mater throughout his rise to success. To date, he has provided millions of dollars to the College of Business in support of teaching, research, facilities and student scholarships. Tippie has endowed four professorships, one chair, the college's deanship and seven fellowships. In addition, hundreds of students have received Tippie Scholarships since he endowed his first, in 1967, for needy students from Belle Plaine.

In gratitude for his generosity, the university re-named the College of Business Administration the Henry B. Tippie College of Business in 1999.

"It's fitting that the University of Iowa celebrate Henry Tippie's birthday because he has done so much for this College and for this university through his never-ending generosity and support," said Gary Fethke, interim university president who was dean of the College of Business Administration when it was renamed for Tippie. "More than that, though, Henry is one of my best friends and has been a source of guidance and strength through the years. I've always valued his wisdom, advice and friendship."

Tippie has also been a member of the University of Iowa Foundation Board since 1999 and was a charter member of the Tippie College's Board of Visitors.

"Henry's guidance on the board and especially on the investment advisory committee has been instrumental in the ongoing success of the University of Iowa Foundation," said Lynette Marshall, president of the University of Iowa Foundation. "His financial acumen and his willingness to share it are crucial to the board's continued future success."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,