News & Events

UI to Present Henry Tippie with Honorary Doctorate at December Commencement

The University of Iowa will award an honorary doctorate to UI alumnus and benefactor Henry B. Tippie in commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Tippie will be honored at the commencement for the Tippie College of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and College of Nursing at 9 a.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Sally Mason, UI president, and Curt Hunter, dean of the Tippie College of Business, will present him with his degree.

"Henry Tippie is a man of humble demeanor but extraordinary achievement, and he is a role model for University of Iowa students," said Hunter. "He has built his businesses the right away, with hard work and ethical considerations always foremost. His generosity with the University ensures that he will continue to inspire our students for generations to come."

Tippie grew up on a dairy farm in Belle Plaine, Iowa, then served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II before coming to UI. He graduated with a BSC degree in accounting in 1949, completing his course work in just two years.

After working as an accountant in Des Moines, Tippie moved to Delaware to work for what was then John W. Rollins and Associates, now Rollins Inc. At Rollins, he helped to develop the leveraged buyout when the company purchased Orkin Extermination in 1964.

Since then, he's owned or managed businesses involved in ranching, motorsports, radio, and others. Today, five Rollins companies trade on the New York Stock Exchange, and Tippie is still involved with Rollins enterprises. He is also chairman of Dover Motorsports, Inc. and Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc., and he owns a 33,000-acre ranch in Limestone County, Texas.

Tippie was an original member of the UI College of Business' Board of Visitors. During the campaign to raise funds for the Pappajohn Business Building, he donated funds to build an auditorium, student lounge, and Pat's Diner, named for his wife.

In February 1999, Tippie made a significant contribution to the College of Business to support its students and faculty. The College was renamed the Henry B. Tippie College of Business in his honor. This gift supports student scholarships and faculty research—including two endowed chairsCas well as several professorships and fellowships. His scholarships have benefited a large number of business students as well as students from his native Belle Plaine.

"Henry was a constant presence in the Tippie College," said Nancy Hauserman, professor and business and former associate dean of the College's undergraduate program. "Over the years he has been—and remains—an active and interested partner in our efforts to educate tomorrow’s leaders. Henry was always available to our students and willing to interact with them. Henry takes his role as mentor quite seriously—he's determined not only to share his experience with students but to offer them an opportunity to learn not only from his successes but from the vantage point of his hindsight."

"Mr. Tippie is a champion of access as well as research," said Charles Whiteman, economics professor and associate dean of the Tippie College. "He has helped hundreds of students attend the University, and has supported the attraction and retention of our most productive and innovative researchers. His support of the research focus has helped us achieve the national and international reputations the Tippie College has for expectation-exceeding excellence in disciplinary research in business."

He and Patricia now live in Austin, Texas.

Return to top of page