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University of Iowa News Release


April 1, 2011

Fraternal Order of Eagles, UI dedicate new diabetes research center

Leaders of The Fraternal Order of Eagles, the University of Iowa and the UI Foundation will dedicate the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the UI at 4 p.m. today. The center is being funded by a $25 million gift commitment by the international Eagles membership.

Approximately 400 Eagles members are expected to attend the ceremony in the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility adjacent to the center's construction site. The group has raised $10 million of its gift commitment and is on schedule to raise the remaining $15 million over the next three years.

"We remain deeply impressed by this extraordinary commitment from The Fraternal Order of Eagles," said UI President Sally Mason. "We look forward to the day when our researchers will begin working in an outstanding facility to develop new treatments for diabetes by moving research findings into the clinical setting as quickly as possible."

The UI-Fraternal Order of Eagles partnership is unique in that it represents the first time the university has joined forces with the 860,000-member philanthropic organization. In addition to its strengths in diabetes research, the UI brings to the collaboration the facilities of its new Pappajohn Biomedical Institute, so that The Fraternal Order of Eagles' philanthropy can be devoted entirely to programmatic support of pioneering research.

Mike Lagervall, Grand Worthy President, The Fraternal Order Of Eagles, Grand Aerie, says the this fundraising effort combines the Eagles' passion for helping people affected by diabetes with leading-edge researchers.

"I am very proud of our members for their commitment to finding new treatments for diabetes," said Lagervall. "They are carrying on our long tradition of really walking the walk when it comes to being people helping people."

Mary Myers, Grand Madam President, The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Grand Auxiliary, added, "This is a tremendous day for all of our members. We could not be happier with our success thus far and I am confident that we will reach our goals and make a real impact in the lives of those affected by this very serious disease."

The Fraternal Order of Eagles gift will fund endowed chairs and fellowships for diabetes researchers, provide seed research grants for innovative research ideas and help recruit leading scientists in diabetes research and translational medicine. Construction of the facility is being funded by a combination of state appropriations, UI resources and private gifts.

"We are at a pivotal moment in history when there is great promise for making real progress in treating and preventing diabetes," said Jean Robillard, M.D., UI vice president for medical affairs. "The support of The Fraternal Order of Eagles truly makes the future brighter."

Diabetes is a public health crisis, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 26 million Americans have the disorder, which means the disease has reached epidemic proportions.

"This team approach by the Eagles, UI researchers and Iowans will foster more rapid advances against diabetes. This partnership provides the support that the best and brightest minds need to reach their goal of a better life for people affected by this devastating disease," said Paul Rothman, M.D., dean of the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international nonprofit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope. Founded in 1898, the Fraternal Order of Eagles funds research in areas such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and cancer, and raises money for neglected and abused children and the aged, as well as working for social and civic change. Learn more at

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: University of Iowa Health Care Media Relations, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACTS: Nancy Schlagheck, The Fraternal Order of Eagles, 614-657-2033; Tom Moore, UI spokesperson, 319-356-3945,