$50 million gift to the newly named Debbie & Jerry Ivy College of Business


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State Daily

Interim President Ben Allen embraces Jerry Ivy after announcing a 50 million dollar donation made by Ivy and his wife, Debbie.

Dawit Tilahun

The College of Business will be receiving its largest donation to date to further drive its expansion, according to an announcement Monday.

Debbie and Jerry Ivy will be donating $50 million to the College of Business. Jerry Ivy is an alumnus of Iowa State and is now the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and current President of Auto-Chlor System, a company dedicated to providing superior cleaning solutions to the food service, health care and lodging industries.

The mission of the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign is to elevate “the quality of the ISU experience that secures future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Advancing Iowa State’s role as a world leader and pioneer in addressing our most complex challenges and enhancing the margin of excellence that sets Iowa State apart,” according to interim President Ben Allen.

Larissa Jones, the President and CEO of the Foundation, launched the Forever True Iowa State Campaign early last fall. The program is a public fundraising campaign launched from the Foundation.

With the launch of the $1.1 billion Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, the foundation and the College of Business played crucial roles in guiding the set up of Debbie and Jerry Ivy’s donation.

The donation will help achieve the goals of the campaign the college has laid out. The endowment will allow for advancements in the college today and in the future.

“With this gift we are hoping to enable not only the staff and the university, but the students all the way through to be able to reach out and keep expanding their goals and their dreams with endless possibilities,” Debbie Ivy said. 

The gift has prompted the naming of the College of Business to now be named the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business, holistically renaming the College of Business. The naming will be brought to the Iowa Board of Regents in early October for approval.

“This fund will eventually provide approximately $2 million annually designated for priorities in the College of Business,” Allen said.

Under Dean David Spalding, the College of Business has increased enrollment by over 40 percent and has raised over $85 million for the college.

The flexible endowment will initially be prioritized for use in three areas: the supply chain management program, business analytics and entrepreneurship. While the supply chain program is ranked as sixth in the world, the endowment aims to focus on enhancing the business analytics program, which helps businesses grow top-line growth and improve operating performance and growing the entrepreneurship program as well.

Spalding plans to focus on growing funds for scholarships, funding faculty research and enhancing co-curricular student activities, including the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.

The newer programs, like entrepreneurship, lack the funding that the longer standing programs have. However, the donation will help students with scholarships for these newer programs, along with learning about new research and growth in the world of business from the funding faculty will be receiving for their research.

Programs like CYstarter and CyBiz will be receiving funds that will allow students to pursue their own entrepreneurial goals and also contract as consultants with established businesses as well.

“There is nothing that raises the profile of a college like being a named college,” Spalding said. The College of Business is now the first named college on campus.

“The unique experience of each student in the College of Business would not be possible without the generosity of alumni and friends of the university,” Kara Masteller, senior in marketing, said.

Masteller is president of the Business Council and Student Government’s senior director of academic affairs. Masteller represented the student body in addressing the gift and thanking the donors for their commitment to the college’s growth. She will be one of the first students to be a graduate of the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business in May 2018.

“We’re really hopeful and thankful for all of your support and how this is going to be used in the future for the college’s faculty and students,” Debbie Ivy said.

The Ivy family wishes to see the seed they are planting today grow and allow the college to further perpetuate a dedication to academic excellence. By investing in the college, the Debbie and Jerry Ivy wish to open the doors for opportunity to flow in for students.