Dana Larson, UI Foundation, 319-467-3661
Phil’s Day’s 'Senior Year'
Phil’s Day’s 'Senior Year'
Phil’s Day’s 'Senior Year'
When University of Iowa senior Matt Cabel came to campus for freshman orientation in 2011, his orientation group was led by an upperclassman in a “Phil Was Here” t-shirt.
Phil is short for “philanthropy,” and is the nickname the UI uses to refer to the generous alumni and friends (including more than 2,600 UI faculty and staff this year) who make donations to support the UI.
That orientation guide, Alex Debner, was one of the first members of the UI Foundation’s Student Philanthropy Group (SPG), and he made sure that incoming freshmen like Matt knew about philanthropy and how it played a role in their education. From the day Matt stepped on campus, Phil—the foundation’s playful nickname for philanthropy—has been a visible part of his university experience.
There’s no other day during the school year when Phil is more visible than on Phil’s Day, which will happen this Thursday, April 30, for its fourth year, all over the UI campus.
Early that morning, teams of students will fan out across campus at dawn to festoon dozens of buildings with black-and-gold ‘Phil Was Here’ ribbons and posters, highlighting places on the UI campus where private support has made a big difference, whether funding facilities, scholarships, programs, research, or faculty. And it’s no small number of ribbons. More than 50 buildings on campus are marked with the distinctive tags.
“From the very beginning, I knew that Phil was a thing on campus,” says Cabel, a journalism and mass communication major from Bettendorf, Iowa. “Since then I have come to understand that Phil impacts everything on campus.”
Last summer, Cabel worked as an intern at the UI Foundation—a member of the first group of students to go through the program, designed to educate future fundraisers as well as produce well-informed graduates who understand the mission and vision of the UI Foundation and the role of private support at the university. After concluding his internship, he joined SPG, bringing his “Phil” experience full circle in his final year on campus.
“Phil has left its mark on campus—but it also makes an incredible impact on students. When we graduate and leave the university, we take that with us. Not just the gratitude and understanding, but also the inclination to be philanthropic ourselves,” Cabel says. “I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Phil’s Day 2015
A rundown of Thursday, April 30, events:
All day: “Phil Was Here” tags identify buildings and programs made possible by donations, honoring donors and recipients.
All day: Get spotted by the Prize Patrol anywhere on campus wearing an “I Am Phil” sticker and you can win a prize—pick up a sticker at the thank-you card signings and talk listed below.
11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Sign a thank-you card for a donor
Card signings in multiple locations where students, faculty, and staff can sign thank-you notes to donors and receive an “I Am Phil” sticker for their participation
Medical Education and Research Facility
College of Public Health
Dental Science Building
College of Nursing
Campus Recreation & Wellness Center
Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts & Sciences
Pappajohn Business Building
Van Allen Hall
Adler Journalism & Mass Communication Building
1:30 p.m. “Life With Phil” talk by Jerre Stead (1965 B.B.A.), Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) Second-floor Ballroom
Business leader and visionary philanthropist Jerre L. Stead will give the annual Phil’s Day talk. Learn about Jerre’s professional journey, and why he and his wife, Mary Joy, so strongly believe in giving back to Iowa.
More on the UI Foundation website.
Connect with “Phil Was Here”and #philsday at:
Building a culture of philanthropy
Phil’s Day is the latest—and biggest yet—effort from the UI Foundation’s Student Philanthropy Initiative (SPI), which aims to show students what philanthropy is all about on campus and, they hope, help to shape UI students into the philanthropists and fundraisers of the future. This year’s celebration, the fourth annual, is special because it marks the first class of graduating UI seniors for whom Phil’s Day has been part of every year of their UI experience.
For students like Matt Cabel, it has made a big impact.
“Phil welcomed me to campus on Day One,” he says, “and as my time at Iowa has progressed, so has my philanthropic involvement and understanding.”
Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Foundation, believes that Phil’s Day is an important part of providing that learning experience to all UI students.
“Phil’s Day is our chance to show students—and faculty and staff on campus—where private support makes a difference in the daily life of our public university. It’s also a great opportunity to celebrate and say ‘thank you’ to our donors by recognizing the impact of their gifts,” Marshall says.
Students, faculty, and staff can stop by one of 13 campus locations to hand-sign a thank-you card for a donor and receive their very own “I Am Phil” sticker to wear. And one of UI’s most successful and generous alumni will be on campus to share his story about the importance of giving back. (See the sidebar for more on Phil’s Day events.)
“It’s one way we are fostering a healthy culture of philanthropy at the University of Iowa, and helping to graduate Hawkeyes who understand that our university, and their education, is excellent in part because of the generous support of others who love and support the UI,” Marshall says. “We hope that this year’s seniors understand that more fully than any class who has come before them.”
This kind of education makes a long-term difference, Marshall adds.
“We can’t expect our future alumni to support the university if we don’t teach our students what their support means,” she says.
‘Life With Phil’ talk features Jerre Stead
In addition to gold ribbons and “Phil Was Here” posters and stickers dotting the campus today, the UI Foundation is hosting its fourth annual “Life With Phil” talk, featuring Jerre Stead, a Maquoketa native and 1965 UI business graduate who, with his wife, Mary Joy, has provided generous support and inspiration to the UI for decades.
In addition to their $25 million commitment to the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business in 2003, they recently pledged $20 million to support the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, which resulted in the renaming of the pediatrics department in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine to the UI Stead Family Department of Pediatrics
“Jerre Stead is not only an inspiration—a tremendously successful alumnus, visionary philanthropist, and a true friend to the University of Iowa—he is also a terrific storyteller and a delightful speaker.” says Marshall. “We are so pleased to welcome the Steads back to campus for Phil’s Day.”
With so many UI students involved with Dance Marathon—the UI’s largest student organization, focused on generating philanthropic support for pediatric oncology patients in UI Children’s Hospital—Stead’s “Life With Phil” lecture is expected to be well attended and warmly received. The event is free and open to the public, and will take place in the Second-Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.
“Thousands of Dance Marathon students worked together to raise more than $2 million in support of the Children’s Hospital this year,” says Matt Cabel, who has also been a member of Dance Marathon’s Family Relations Committee. “The Steads are role models for us, and they share the same philanthropic passion: Giving ‘For The Kids.’”
“It’s more than just the money they provide,” he adds. “They are good examples on so many levels.”
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend the annual Phil’s Day talk, contact Courtney Blind with the UI Foundation in advance at 319-467-3471, Extension 471 or firstname.lastname@example.org.