Order of the Knoll allows alumni to give back


Sarah Henry/Iowa State Daily

The Knoll, located at 111 Knoll Rd., is home to the President of Iowa State University. 

Willa Colville

In 1901, “The Knoll,” located east of the Memorial Union, became the home to Iowa State University’s fifth president, William Beardshear. Since then, ten presidential families have lived in the Knoll and set a standard of excellence for faculty as well as students. 

For over 100 years, millions of students have attended and graduated from Iowa State following this standard and contributing to the success of the university, and alumni have chosen to thank the university through their generosity. Iowa State’s most loyal and prestigious donors have been recognized in a society appropriately named The Order of the Knoll. 

Since the 1960s, the Order of the Knoll program has honored the university’s top donors. In order to become a member of this society, one must donate a minimum of $2,500 annually or give a cumulative gift of $100,000 or more. 

The program recognizes four different levels of giving. Each of the four levels – Campanile Society, President’s Circle, W.M. Beardshear Society and Society of the True and Valiant – requires a higher donation amount.

The Campanile Society starts at an annual donation of $2,500 or annual donation of $1,500 for those age 40 and under, and the Society of the True and Valiant is the level for donors with a cumulative giving of $10 million or more.

Elaine Watkins-Miller, the associate director of communications for the Iowa State University Foundation, said the Order helps alumni stay connected to Iowa State, and is a way to thank them for their generosity.

“The program provides donors ongoing engagement with Iowa State through communications about important university news,” Watkins-Miller said, “[The program] also provides opportunities to attend events such as regional gatherings with alumni and friends.”

One such event is a performance for members of the Order put on by Cantamus Women’s Choir, one of two women’s all-female choral groups on campus. The event will take place Friday.

“This concert will premiere an all new version of ‘The Bells of Iowa State’,” said Kathleen Rodde, the director of Cantamus. “Cantamus is recognized as one of the top women’s choirs in the nation. This will be their first time performing for the Order of the Knoll.” 

Thanks to the Order of the Knoll’s members, Iowa State has been able to expand, grow and give students more opportunities over the last 50 years. To honor the societies most loyal and top givers, the Order gives out five awards each year: the True and Valiant Award, Campanile Award, Cardinal and Gold Award, Corporate and Foundation Award and Faculty and Staff Award. 

This year, the recipients of the True and Valiant Award were Roy and Bobbi Reiman. Roy Reiman graduated from Iowa State with a degree in agricultural journalism, founded Reiman Publications in Greendale, Wisconsin, and he and his wife, Bobbi, founded Reiman Gardens, located southeast of Jack Trice Stadium. 

The Reiman’s are also past recipients of the Order’s Campanile Award. Other award recipients include Richard and Joan Stark, Steven T. Schuler, William D. Hoefle and Danfoss Power Solutions. 

Some benefits of donating and becoming members of the Order include invitations to select events such as dinners and luncheons, as well as opportunities to interact with Iowa State’s top staff and receive special reports on the university.

Though some donors may choose to remain anonymous, at the 2014 Order of the Knoll Reception, a few wrote why they chose to give back to Iowa State University, citing “[to provide] opportunity for the next generation,” “be apart of something bigger than ourselves,” “to leave a legacy” and “giving back to Iowa State,” as reasons why they choose to donate.

For more information on the Order of the Knoll, donations and award recipients, visit foundation.iastate.edu.