Integrity. Innovation. Impact.

Ira White

Ira White

CFO, Moss Distributing, Des Moines


BBA 1969


CFO, Moss Distributing, Des Moines

Since October 2012, nearly $1 million has already been committed to establish endowed scholarships for Iowa undergraduates through a new scholarship program, Golden Pledge: A Presidential Partnership for Student Success. The UI and UI Foundation sought to establish an incentive for generous donors, so the initiative will match the payout from new, privately funded endowed scholarships of $100,000 or more.

Ira E. White (BBA69) 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, who has given to the university every year since he graduated. “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.”

The Ira White Accounting Scholarship is given to an accounting major from Iowa, preferably someone who is in the Iowa Marching Band (since Ira played sousaphone in the marching band and tuba in the concert band while at Iowa). This year, the first scholarship was awarded to Joe Murphy, an accounting major from West Des Moines.

White, who is the chief financial officer at Moss Distributing in Des Moines, 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,” he says.

Golden Pledge will dramatically enhance the merit- and need-based scholarship support the UI is able to provide for students. Golden Pledge runs through 2017.