Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 19, 2006

Note to editors:  A timeline of UI Foundation achievements from 1956 to 2006 is available online at:

Foundation Celebrates 50th Year; Board Elects New Members, Honors Staff

Fifty years ago this month in Old Capitol, University of Iowa President Virgil Hancher convened the first meeting of the board of directors of the newly created University of Iowa Foundation. In attendance at that meeting on Oct. 19, 1956, was a new UI law professor, Willard "Sandy" Boyd, whom Hancher had commissioned in 1955 to research and propose a plan to form such a foundation to help maximize and appropriately handle private gifts for the university.

At its regular fall meeting Sept. 29-30, 2006, in the Levitt Center for University Advancement, the UI Foundation board, friends and staff celebrated five decades of building on contributors' support for the UI with a special group of people: those who have made gifts to the foundation for 50 consecutive years. There are 81 such living contributors, and 20 of them attended the celebration.

"Recognizing nothing is born full-grown, we had great expectations in 1956 for what the foundation could do for the University of Iowa," said former UI President Boyd. "Now 50 years later, those expectations have been far exceeded. Indeed, what could be accomplished and what has been accomplished was barely imaginable to us at the time."

The UI Foundation's long history of achievement was among the factors that drew the organization's third president from the University of Illinois Foundation just seven weeks ago. UI Foundation President Lynette Marshall, who began her duties at Iowa on Aug. 22, told the board that she is indebted to the legacy of her predecessors.

"In accepting leadership of this successful foundation, I am truly standing on the shoulders of giants," Marshall said, citing the work of prior foundation presidents Darrell Wyrick and Michael New, as well as of Boyd and other volunteers.  "Thanks to all who've come before us, I believe we continue to have great potential, and the foundation staff and I stand ready to help the University of Iowa reach the next level of excellence."

In 1956, the UI Foundation's annual productivity was $27,920; contributors numbered 1,309. In fiscal year 2006, the foundation received $80.9 million in outright gifts from more than 68,000 contributors, with total productivity for the year coming to $169 million, including future commitments. As of June 30, 2006, total cumulative UI Foundation productivity since its creation stood at $1.69 billion.

Also at its Sept. 30 meeting, the foundation board elected four new members: James W. Carney of Des Moines, Iowa; Eva C. Dahl of Onalaska, Wisc.; Cassandra S. Foens of Waterloo, Iowa; and Kevin R. Gruneich of Park City, Utah.

A native of Centerville, Iowa, Jim Carney is the founding partner of Carney, Appleby, Nielsen & Skinner, P.L.C. He earned a bachelor's degree at the UI in 1970 and a J.D. degree from Drake Law School in 1975. Carney currently serves on the executive board of the National Letterman's Club of the University of Iowa and is a National I-Club Board Member.  He is also a member of the Presidents Club of the University of Iowa and the UI Alumni Association's Old Capitol Club.

Eva Dahl, president of Endodontic Specialists of La Crosse (Wis.), earned a B.A. degree in 1973, a D.D.S degree in dentistry in 1976, an M.A. degree in education in 1979, and an M.S. degree in oral pathology in 1982, all from the UI.  Also an adjunct professor in the UI's Department of Oral Pathology, Dahl is a former member of the UI Alumni Association Board of Directors and served as the board's chair in 2002.  She also served as co-chair for the UI College of Dentistry building renovation campaign.  She is a UI Presidents Club member and an Alumni Association Honors Circle member.

A native of Waterloo, Iowa, and a radiation oncologist with Clinical Radiologists, PC, Cassandra Foens received a B.S. degree in 1983, followed by an M.D. degree in 1987, both from the UI.  She completed her residency in radiation oncology at UI Hospitals and Clinics in 1992. Foens is a UI Presidents Club member and an Alumni Association Old Capitol Club member. 

A venture capitalist, investor and real-estate developer, Kevin Gruneich graduated from the UI in 1980 with a B.B.A. degree. Gruneich also holds an M.B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. His career as a publishing industry analyst on Wall Street was capped off by service as senior managing director of equity research with Bear, Stearns & Co. He is a member of the UI Presidents Club, the UI Tippie College of Business Dean's Club Advisor's Circle and is a Life Member of the UI Alumni Association.

The foundation board elected current chair Charles M. Kierscht of Hinsdale, Ill., to serve another year in that role.

Re-elected to the UI Foundation board for three-year terms were:

--Ralph H. Congdon of Davenport, Iowa.

--Leonard A. Hadley of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

--Curtis K. Lane of Omaha, Neb.

--Elisabeth Foxley Leach of Iowa City, Iowa.

--Carroll J. Reasoner of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Serving on the foundation's executive committee for 2006-2007 are:

--UI Interim President Gary Fethke (ex officio) of Iowa City.

--Thomas R. Hanson of Hinsdale, Ill. (elected to the executive committee this year).

--David A. Hoak of Des Moines, Iowa.

--Charles M. Kierscht, Chair.

--Carroll J. Reasoner.

--Gary F. Seamans of Galena, Ill.

--Robert W. Verhille of Solon, Iowa.

--Catherine Zaharis of Des Moines

The foundation board named the following as Lifetime Honorary Directors: Sue W. Cannon of Marana, Ariz.; Mary Louise Petersen of Harlan, Iowa; and Marvin A. Pomerantz of Des Moines, Iowa.

At the 50th celebration dinner, board members were introduced to the first two recipients of the Michael J. New Staff Excellence Award, an employee recognition program established by New and his wife, Mary, prior to Michael's death on April 9, 2006.  The award fund, to which several hundred friends and colleagues contributed in Michael's memory, will generate two cash awards each year, to be given to foundation staff who exhibit exemplary service to the university, foundation donors and staff.  The 2006 recipients are Assistant Director of Administrative Support Marianne Harney of Solon, Iowa, a 28-year foundation employee; and Planned Gift Coordinator Carolyn Ossmann of Iowa City, who joined the foundation in 1996.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

CONTACT: Susan Shullaw, (319) 335-3305, ext. 861; (800) 648-6973, ext. 861;


1. Darrell D. Wyrick, Lynette L. Marshall, and Charles M. Kierscht

CUTLINE: A proud legacy of UI Foundation leadership: President Emeritus Darrell D. Wyrick, President Lynette Marshall and former Interim President Charles M.  Kierscht together at the UI Foundation's 50th anniversary celebration Sept. 30 in the Levitt Center for University Advancement.



2. Six of the 50-year givers in attendance at UI Foundation's 50th anniversary celebration

CUTLINE:  Enjoying the UI Foundation's 50th anniversary celebration were six of the 50-consecutive-year givers in attendance: (left to right) Gordon Strayer, Dale Bentz, Faye Strayer, Bess Folk, Mary Gail Bentz and G. Edgar Folk, all of Iowa City.



3. Portrait of Charles M. Kierscht, UI Foundation board chair



4. Marianne Harney, a winner of the Michael J. New Staff Excellence Award



5. Carolyn Ossmann, a winner of the Michael J. New Staff Excellence Award