Loyal sons, Forever True: Iowa State University Foundation celebrates donors during Forever True week


Ryan Bretoi/Iowa State Daily

A student writes on the whiteboard for the Forever True ISU campaign outside of Curtiss Hall on central campus on April 6. The whiteboard was there for students to write why they are “Forever True for ISU.” Students could also write cards to university donors to express their appreciation for the donations. 

Willa Colville

Throughout this week, you may notice signs displayed throughout campus.

Each sign says “I am here because of donors,” and they all serve the same purpose: to help people recognize the role that philanthropy has played at Iowa State.

The Forever True, For Iowa State campaign by the Iowa State University Foundation was publicly launched in the fall of 2016. This campaign’s main goal is to raise $1.1 billion dollars for Iowa State University.

Over the course of this week, signs will be displayed outside of buildings to show that it was funded in part by this campaign. Some faculty members will wear medallions to show that their position is donor funded as well, and student scholarship recipients will also be given buttons. 

According to Larissa Holtmyer Jones, president and CEO of the Iowa State University Foundation, they hope this week will help bring visibility to the campaign. 

“We were thinking about ways to both celebrate and communicate the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign. We thought it was important for us to link it to anyone who would be impacted [by the campaign] and that certainly includes students and faculty,” Holtmyer Jones said. “So the idea came about that we do a week-long celebration to try to identify and talk more about some of the ways that philanthropy impacts campus.”

In addition to the signs, buttons and medallions, the foundation will have locations set up to play games and win t-shirts or other prizes. Students or faculty will also be given the opportunity to write a thank you note to donors. 

“Whether you’re a scholarship recipient or you have fantastic faculty or you are in a building that enhances your educational opportunity, we are inviting students or faculty to say thank you,” Holtmyer Jones said. 

According to Holtmyer Jones, not only do alumni donate to the campaign, but ‘friends’ of the university as well. Donors have the opportunity to choose where their money is spent. 

Many donors choose to give a set amount which is awarded to students in the form of scholarships. Donors may also choose to invest in different departments to fund faculty, research or programatic support all around. 

“Every donor who invests in Iowa State has a different area of interest,” Holtmyer Jones said, “But one of the most common things we hear from people who are giving back to the university is that they want to create opportunities for today’s students that were similar to the opportunities that were so meaningful and influential for them.” 

The campaign is set to conclude June 30 of 2020, however, they are already ahead of schedule. So far, the Forever True campaign has raised nearly $950 million, only $50,000 away from the billion dollar mark. 

The phrase “Forever True” was chosen as the title for this campaign because of its familiarity. Those two words are heard in the fight song and have also been theme in the athletic program before. When asked what Forever True meant to her, Holtmyer Jones credited Iowa State University for her achievements. 

“I have two degrees from Iowa State so for me Forever True is really about finding ways to give back to this university in response to what it has given me,” she said. 

Holtmyer Jones believes it is important to thank and celebrate the hundreds of donors that help keep our university running. 

For more information on Forever True Week visit https://www.foundation.iastate.edu/s/1463/giving/interior.aspx?sid=1463&gid=1&pgid=2088