The expansion of the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business


Chris Jorgensen/Iowa State Daily

Jerry Ivy, CEO of Auto-Chlor System, addresses the crowd after Interim President Ben Allen announced a 50 million dollar donation made by Jerry and his wife, Debbie.

Dawit Tilahun

In just this semester, the College of Business has seen donations that amount to over $57 million.

The first donation was the $7 million commitment from the Gerdin family dedicated to the expansion of the college and the second was the $50 million donation made by Debbie and Jerry Ivy.

The $50 million commitment from the Ivy family has been in the works for 15 years. With the commitment, the college has become the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business, the first named college at Iowa State.

The gift will be handled by the Foundation and will allot the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business $2 million annually, which the dean of the college will decide how to spend.

Specifically, the structure of the endowments allocation is 4.25 percent of the endowment will go to the college and 1.25 percent to cover the cost of the endowment, which adds up to $2.75 million a year. 

“We plan on investing in some of the exciting newer programs like entrepreneurship, business analytics and supply chain,” said David Spalding, College of Business Raisbeck Endowed dean. 

The dean plans to focus on providing scholarship funding for the newer majors and to also support faculty research in each of the new areas. The college also plans to expand learning experiences outside of the classroom with programs like CyStarters.

“This means we have more visibility, more ability to reach students, more ability to provide resources to students,” said Judi Eyles, director of the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship and CyBiz Lab.

With the donation, the entrepreneurship program will be able to reach a larger body of students. This will help students learn more about marketing themselves and help gain more of an interest in entrepreneurship and consulting.

“This will provide more work opportunities, scholarship opportunities and program opportunities that will make things more available to students,” Eyles said. 

The college is currently working on planning an interdisciplinary major in business analytics, which would allow students to major in one aspect of business, but have a concentration in another major-specific aspect of business.

“We have aspirations for the College of Business to be ranked as one of the top 50 programs in the country,” Spalding said. 

Currently the college’s undergraduate program ranks 78th and the graduate program ranks 65th according to U.S. News and World Report.

Spalding emphasized that in the long run, this goal is attainable as long as the school gains more resources to invest in faculty, students and programs.

This is not the first donation the Ivy family has made to the college. Seven years ago, the family made a $1.7 million donation to the college and established the Debbie and Jerry Ivy Chair in Business, which is now held by supply chain Professor Patricia Daugherty.

“Our enrollment has been growing since the fall of 2012,” Spalding said.

The College of Business is currently working to expand its facilities by adding a 35,000 square foot expansion. This large addition is set out to meet the increasing enrollment numbers the college is currently seeing.

The 35,000 square foot addition is a four story building that will be located adjacent to the Gerdin building. The total cost of the addition ranges from $22 million-$24 million.

The money will come from $10 million in donations, $10 million borrowed from internal Iowa State funding and the last $2 million-$4 million from college and university funds. 

The building will feature more 50-75 seat classrooms, that will be equipped with smart technology like interactive whiteboards and video-capture technology. The addition of classrooms will allow for more meeting space for student organizations.

The college has received a $7 million donation from the Gerdin family and has also recently received an additional $250,000 from another party to help meet the $10 million donation goal.

“I am grateful for the donations and am looking forward to the new opportunities the donations will bring,” said Matthew Milder, junior in marketing. “I’m looking forward to more class times and availability as it does feel like the College of Business is a bit cramped with the large number of student’s verses the number of classrooms.”