Having trouble seeing this email?
VPMA Voice

Mary and John Pappajohn

Institute named for

generous benefactors


Longtime University of Iowa benefactors John and Mary Pappajohn of Des Moines last week provided a $26.4 million gift commitment to provide the UI’s new interdisciplinary Institute for Biomedical Discovery with “the catalyst it needs to reach its full potential.” The Pappajohns’ gift is the largest single gift commitment ever for the UI from individual Iowa donors.

In recognition of the Pappajohns’ gift, the institute has been named the Pappajohn Institute, and the building that houses it the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building. The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved the naming of the institute and the building at its October 29 meeting.


Architect’s rendering of the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical
Discovery Building from the southeast.

Pappajohn said he and his wife, Mary, were “inspired by the institute’s collaborative, entrepreneurial, and university-wide dimensions. Those who stand to gain the most from the institute’s performance will be generations of patients nationwide and around the world.”

The institute was created and is being built by the university in partnership with UI Health Care, the State of Iowa, the federal government, and other private contributors.

Michael Welsh, MD, whom President Mason named founding director of the Institute in March 2009, said, “This landmark gift from the Pappajohns will go far in helping us recruit outstanding scientific leaders to head the institute’s areas of primary focus, including neurosciences, diabetes, and other areas. Just one example of the stellar interdisciplinary efforts that the Pappajohn Institute will accommodate is the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, which also is being made possible by extraordinary private support.”

“Philanthropic partnerships such as this help enable our mission of excellence in clinical care, research, and education. We are deeply grateful for the Pappajohns’ remarkable support and for their vote of confidence in the people of UI Health Care.”

The Pappajohn Institute will provide, in a single facility, a unique environment where a broad spectrum of university researchers and scientists can collaborate to explore high-risk, high-yield research opportunities. The 200,000-square-foot, six-story facility, located next to the Carver Biomedical Research Building, will house laboratories and office space dedicated to leading-edge, cross-disciplinary research involving scientists from across the entire campus.

Construction on the building began in September with general contractor Knutson Construction modifying the Bowen Science Building (BSB) loading dock; relocating utilities north of BSB; excavating large amounts of soil; and constructing the deep foundations for the building. Project completion is set for spring of 2014.

The Pappajohns generous gift opens tremendous new possibilities for discoveries that promise to change medicine and the lives of people everywhere.

John Pappajohn, a well-known Iowa venture capitalist and philanthropist, and his wife, Mary, are among the university’s most generous supporters. He graduated from the UI in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in business, and since 1969 has been the owner of Pappajohn Capital Resources. He also is the founder and president of the financial consulting firm Equity Dynamics Inc.

Mary Pappajohn received her bachelor’s degree in related art from the University of Minnesota, and she and John long have been supporters and proponents of the visual arts, and volunteers for leading arts organizations. Mary serves as a trustee of both the Des Moines Art Center and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

“This gift reflects the high regard so many Iowans have for the important work we do every day and is a sign of support for our vision of world class people and world class medicine.”

The Pappajohns’ most recent gift for the UI, among the largest gift commitments ever received by the UI Foundation, brings their total cumulative giving for the UI to $38.6 million.

More information about the Pappajohn gift is available at http://www.uihealthcare.com/news/news/2009/11/02pappajohn.html and more information about the Institute is at http://discovery.medicine.uiowa.edu.

logo: University of Iowa Health Care
This is a publication of UI Health Care