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Business Students Continue to Give Back with Tippie Build 2

It all started two years ago with the idea to honor Henry B. Tippie on his 80th birthday by building a home for a local family through Habitat for Humanity. It was a way for students in The University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business to not just give back to their college's benefactor, but to help the community, too.

It was so successful that this spring, more than 100 students from the College of Business are teaming up with Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity for Tippie Build 2, following up on the success of the first Tippie Build in 2007. Student volunteers, along with faculty and staff, have been working to raise $50,000 and to build a home for a local family in need.

Groundbreaking for the house took place February 13 for Ibrahima Diallo, his wife, and two children on the southeast side of Iowa City. Tippie Build 2 will help make it possible for the family to live in a safe and decent home, which also conforms to energy efficient green standards.

Joyce Berg, an accounting professor at the University, serves as the student advisor for the project.

"I am their coach, mentor, and biggest fan," said Berg, who helps out wherever needed. "The students want to give back and show their appreciation for everyone who has contributed to them, and what better way to give back."

She said that both Tippie Builds have created an avenue for students to get involved and reach out to the community around them. The students created the Tippie Build project, she said, and are also the reason it has turned into a tradition.

"We are building a community outside of Tippie and within, we are creating a community in the College," Berg said.

David Mapes is a student at the Tippie College of Business and has been proclaimed the "go-to guy" for any of the project's needs.

"My part in this project is to facilitate all the students and student organizations participating in the project, as well as a volunteer myself," he said.

Among the student groups teaming up to make it a collegewide effort are Beta Alpha Psi, Alpha Kappa Psi, Women in Business, Delta Sigma Pi, American Marketing Association, University of Iowa Leaders in Action, Tippie Optimist Chapter, I-Envision, and Multicultural Business Student Association.

"Tippie Build is a way to get students involved," Mapes said. "Usually if students are involved in a specific student organization they never get a chance to meet colleagues in other organizations. This is a way for students to get socially active within the College and network with each other."

The student organizations, along with help from student volunteers and Berg, have organized such fund-raisers such as a putt-putt golf tournament, student-faculty luncheons, a pancake breakfast, a dodge ball tournament, and a dunk tank event. All proceeds go toward the $50,000 needed to fund the project.

"The main thing is to get community involvement among students," Mapes said. "Especially for business students, it's a nice way for us to give back to the community."

Construction began early this semester and fund-raising for the build will continue throughout the school year. Dedication will take place in May before final exams begin. The first Tippie Build became the largest community service project in the history of the College of Business. That first effort built a home for Ballah Sanoh and his family in 2007 in Iowa City. Ten percent of the funds raised from the first build were also used to build homes for two homes for families in Ghana, an effort that organizers hope will be repeated with funds from Tippie Build 2.

UI News Services has posted a video feature about Tippie Build.


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