Latest News: Faculty Engagement Corps Journal Day 1: On the road
Give out, not in
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“I’ve been on a path with Phil and to Phil since I was born," says Gary Seamans. "I just didn't know it."
Seamans, a University of Iowa graduate and longtime philanthropist, addressed students, faculty, and staff at the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences during the first-ever Phil’s Day, April 24.
"Phil" is short for philanthropy, and Seamans's talk—titled "Life with Phil: Your Journey to Philanthropy"—detailed his own philanthropic journey, from a childhood spent on the receiving end to an adult life characterized by giving.
Not all gifts are monetary, he told the crowd, and philanthropy can take many forms.
“Every one of you has an enormous set of resources right now, including your time, your intellect, and your spiritual resources,” Seamans says. He cited UI events like Dance Marathon as evidence that philanthropy is “not just giving money, but creating it as well.”
Seamans's first step toward financial giving came one day as he bounced his infant son on his knee at home. The phone rang, the call from a UI student-athlete seeking a donation to the university. Seamans made his first formal gift of $25 during that call.
“At all stages of our life we can be involved in the notion of philanthropy,” he says. “Be happy where you are, gather your resources, and then share them. Memories happen when you’re philanthropic with your resources.”
Seamans cited several sources of inspiration for giving so generously over the years, from the philanthropic example his parents set for him as a child—despite their family's meager resources—to the health care his mother received at UI Hospitals and Clinics.
“The idea of doing good for others is powerful,” he says, urging his audience to "give out, not in."