IOWA USA: John Poppajohn, an Iowa venture capitalist and philanthropist, known to have shaped Iowa State of USA’s future, along with his wife Mary, have made a $26.4 million gift to the University of Iowa for the creation of a new interdisciplinary biomedical research center in Des Moines.
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The Poppajohns’ gift represents the single largest gift to UI and brings the couple’s total donations to the university to $38.6 million, said UI President Sally Mason. She thanked the Poppajohns’ for their continued support with grants and endowments that support cancer research, the arts and althletics.
The latest gift will fund the construction of the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building. Previous donations to UI have resulted in the university naming the Pappajohn Business Building after the donors, which houses the UI’s Henry B. Tippie College of Business.
Other gifts have also supported the Pappajohn Pavilion at UI Hospitals and Clinics and the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center, along with numerous others.
John Poppajohn, who graduated from UI with a business degree in 1952, joined the UI Foundation board of directors in 1989 and became a member of the University of Iowa Presidents Club, which recognizes the school’s most generous benefactors.
“John and Mary Pappajohn are among those rare individuals who use their philanthropy to improve quality of life in the broadest sense,” said Lynette L. Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Foundation.
Poppajohn said he intends the gift to establish A “world-class research enterprise” to provide the state with an engine for economic development and put Iowa and UI “on the map” with a well-earned reputation for breakthrough research.
Plans for constructing the Pappajohn Institute intend to build the facility as a collaborative environment for multidisciplinary research in a 200,000-square-foot facility located next to the Carver Biomedical Research Building.