The University of Iowa helped Tom Veale bring his “California dream” to life. After graduating with a UI accounting degree in 1980, the aspiring business leader headed west, where he landed eight job interviews — and eight offers — thanks to the quality of his Iowa business education.
“I got eight job offers in California — and no one even asked for my GPA. The draw was simply that I had graduated from The University of Iowa,” says Veale, who is demonstrating his gratitude to his alma mater with a generous $250,000 gift for the Vaughan Institute of Risk Management.
Veale’s gift is part of a larger investment that he and his wife, Debbie, a 1981 graduate of the UI College of Pharmacy, have made in the University. Their professional success has allowed them to provide a generous $1 million gift — $250,000 to create the TRISTAR Excellence Fund in the Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance and $750,000 to establish the Deborah K. Veale Professorship in Health Care Policy in the College of Pharmacy.
The TRISTAR Fund will provide the Vaughan Institute with vital general support and also will annually support a TRISTAR Risk Management Fellow.
“We are most grateful to Tom and Debbie for this visionary gift,” says William C. (Curt) Hunter, dean of the Tippie College of Business. “The unrestricted support for the Vaughan Institute will help us continue to build this program, and the fellowship will allow one of our promising young faculty members to advance knowledge and teaching in the fields of insurance and risk management. This benefits not only our students but the risk-management industry as well.”
Such benefits are exactly what Tom Veale had in mind when he made his gift to the UI Foundation, in concert with TRISTAR Risk Management, the insurance-services firm that he founded in Long Beach, Calif., in 1987. “The Vaughan Institute will prepare many of our industry’s future leaders,” he says. “Our gift to the College will help build and define the Institute. We hope that this will be just the first of many more down the road.”
The Veales have placed philanthropy — and support for their shared alma mater — at the top of their personal priorities. And because they decided to make a major gift now, while they are young, they will have the chance to witness their support at work in UI classrooms — and beyond.
“The UI provided me with the social and business skills to succeed in my profession,” says Veale, whose company is one of the nation’s largest third-party independent claims administrators.
“Those leadership opportunities and team-building skills were more important than I realized at the time.”