News & Events

UI President's Golden Pledge Making an Impact

Since University of Iowa President Sally Mason announced the Golden Pledge program in late October, the UI and the University of Iowa Foundation have received more than $2 million through numerous gift commitments. Contributions to Golden Pledge will dramatically enhance the scholarship support the UI is able to provide for students.

The initiative, Golden Pledge: A Presidential Partnership for Student Success, will match the payout from new, privately funded, endowed scholarships of $100,000 or more through 2017. In creating Golden Pledge, the UI and UI Foundation sought to establish an incentive for generous donors by doubling the impact on student success fundraising priorities. The effort is designed to significantly increase the number of scholarships for undergraduate students at Iowa.

Ira E. White—who graduated from the UI in 1969 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree—saw Golden Pledge as an opportunity to endow an accounting scholarship in his name.

“I have always had in the back of my mind the idea to fund my own scholarship,” says White. “Even though I have been donating $1,000 per year to the accounting department for several years, the endowed scholarship was still a goal of mine. Last June, my wife died unexpectedly from an accident in our home. It made me realize that life is short, and I need to get this scholarship endowed.”

White hopes his gift helps offset the financial burden for students, and inspires in them their own sense of philanthropy in the future.

“My hope and dream is that the students who receive the Ira White Accounting Scholarship will in turn create their own scholarships when they have the resources. The sooner they pay their college debt the sooner they can start,” says White.

Charles E. and Mary B. Sukup also saw the program as an opportunity to give back. They made a gift through the Sukup Family Foundation to the REACH program in the College of Education. REACH is a two-year, transition certificate program, with an option for a third year, for students with multiple intellectual, cognitive, and learning disabilities. The Sukups’ son, Andrew Sukup, is a graduate of the program.

“We were so impressed with the program and how it afforded youth with cognitive challenges an opportunity to attend college that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” says Charles Sukup. “Many parents of children with these challenges have financial difficulties that make it hard for them to seek out these opportunities for their child. We wanted to help more people experience this unique program and its outstanding faculty and staff.” Charles Sukup currently serves on the REACH Advisory Board.

Golden Pledge: A Presidential Partnership for Student Success will run through December 2017.

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