Jen Knights, School of Social Work, 319-335-3750
All signs point to 'Phil'
All signs point to 'Phil'
All signs point to 'Phil'
Kate McKenzie (B.A., 2015) first learned about Phil’s Day during her sophomore year, when a classmate who was involved with the University of Iowa Foundation’s fledgling Student Philanthropy Group (SPG) invited her to help “tag” campus buildings with gold ribbons.
She agreed to volunteer at 6 a.m. on the second-annual Phil’s Day, helping to physically flag places where private support has made a significant impact.
“Until that morning, I didn’t fully grasp how philanthropy has made a difference in my education,” McKenzie says. “By helping with tagging, I was able to see the tremendous influence that private support has on all of campus.”
Now, Phil’s Day is celebrating its fifth year as an annual event on Thursday, April 28, and SPG has swelled from fewer than a dozen members in its first year to nearly 30 students this year.
McKenzie, too, has grown more involved with philanthropy. Not only did she join SPG, but she also pursued an internship with the UI Foundation, earned her fundraising and philanthropy communication certificate through the UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and became the foundation’s Williams Development Fellow for 2015–16.
“Phil’s Day helped me realize how much donors make our campus what it is today,” she says. “Now I’m glad I can be on the other side of Phil’s Day, helping to coordinate the event and showing other students the true importance of philanthropy at Iowa.”
Phil’s Day is the University of Iowa Foundation’s biggest and most visible effort in its Campus Philanthropy program, which aims to show UI students, faculty, and staff how philanthropy benefits campus. In the process, the foundation hopes to inspire faculty and staff to become donors themselves—and also to help shape UI students into the philanthropists and fundraisers of the future.
For recent grads, such as McKenzie, these efforts have made a big difference.
“I learned about philanthropy right along with my other academic studies,” she says. “My time at the UI prepared me for a successful professional career—and also a lifetime of my own philanthropic giving.”
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.
“Private support makes a difference every day at the University of Iowa—but it often operates behind the scenes. Phil’s Day is our chance to make philanthropy highly visible for one day each year. It’s a great way to educate students and 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 at least a dozen campus locations to sign a thank-you card for a donor and receive their very own “I Am Phil” sticker to wear. And one of the UI’s highly successful and generous alumnae will be on campus to share her story about the importance of giving back.
“We want to give every UI student an understanding that our university, and their education, is excellent in part because of the generous support of others who love this university,” Marshall says. “We hope that students on campus today understand that more fully than any class who has come before them.”
“Life With Phil” talk features P. Sue Beckwith, M.D.
In addition to gold ribbons and Phil Was Here posters and stickers dotting the campus, the UI Foundation is hosting its fifth annual “Life With Phil” talk, featuring P. Sue Beckwith, M.D. (B.S., 1980; M.D., 1984; M.B.A., 2015), a renowned physician and philanthropist from Des Moines who is the first woman to have a UI building named in honor of her philanthropy. She made a visionary leadership gift in 2010 to name the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Boathouse, along the Iowa River on the north end of the main UI campus.
Visit the Phil’s Day entry on the UI Events Calendar to learn all about the day’s activities and how to connect with the campaign on social media.
Beckwith also has established three student scholarships—the Christine H.B. Grant Scholarship Fund; the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Rowing Scholarship Fund; and the P. Sue Beckwith, M.D., Women’s Basketball Scholarship Fund—to help make college more affordable for deserving students.
“Sue Beckwith not only is an inspiration as a tremendously successful alumna, generous philanthropist, and loyal friend to the University of Iowa, she has also been visionary in her support for the university—one of the first to step forward and make a transformational facility-naming gift in our successful For Iowa. Forever More. campaign,” says Marshall. “We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Beckwith back to campus for Phil’s Day.”
The event is free and open to the public and will take place at 10 a.m. April 28 in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum.
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, or email@example.com.