News & Events

Pappajohn Gift to UI Will Benefit Entrepreneurs

By Kristen Schorsch
Iowa City Press-Citizen

University of Iowa programs could receive $250,000 of a recent $4 million commitment from John and Mary Pappajohn given to promote entrepreneurship in Iowa.

"It's an unbelievable commitment to the state of Iowa," said Gary Fethke, dean of UI's Henry B. Tippie College of Business. "Hopefully what will happen is (the money) will create more new business, economic activity and more jobs in Iowa."

The money will be used to finance the five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at UI, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, Drake University and North Iowa Area Community College.

In 1996, John Pappajohn gave $1.5 million to create UI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, said Susan Shullaw, vice president of communications and campaign support at the UI Foundation.

The center mainly provides entrepreneurship courses to undergraduate students, not only for those studying business, Fethke said. The center also participates in statewide outreach, including helping to train high school teachers statewide on online courses to teach entrepreneurship.

Economic development, another resource supported by UI's center, is exemplified in the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory, which is in a Clinton Street fraternity house where students develop new businesses, Fethke said.

The Pappajohns have committed more than $10 million in capital to the centers statewide. UI usually receives contributions totaling $250,000 from the Pappajohns, Fethke said.

David Hensley, Iowa's entrepreneurship center director, said Pappajohn's contributions make up 40 to 50 percent of the center's annual budget.

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