Wednesday, April 21, 2021

University of Iowa students, faculty, staff, and alumni received some of the institution’s highest honors on April 20 at the 104th Finkbine Dinner. Vice President for Student Life Sarah Hansen and UI President Bruce Harreld presented the awards, including the Hancher-Finkbine Medallions and Distinguished Student Leader certificates. 

Hancher-Finkbine Medallions recognizing leadership, learning, and loyalty were presented to students Pavane Gorrepati, Adam Lorenzana, Jocelyn Roof, and Noah Wick; accounting faculty member Daniel Collins; staff member Valerie Garr; and alumna Cynthia Nance.

Students Ruth Kahssai, Sophia Williams-Perez, and Mackensie Graham received Distinguished Student Leader certificates. The Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Awards were given to students Anthony A. Haughton II and Kimberly J. Cullen.

Keith Duncan and Wren Renquist received the Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award, which honors outstanding student-athletes and gives $1,000 grants to recipients entering graduate or professional school at Iowa.

Patrick Breheny, professor in the Department of Biostatistics, received the M.L. Huit Faculty Award, and Lina-Maria Murillo, assistant professor in the Departments of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies and History, received the James N. Murray Faculty Award.

In 1917, William Finkbine and Carl Kuhnle hosted the first awards dinner for UI men. In 1921, Finkbine’s daughter, Dorothy Finkbine Souers, and her aunts introduced a similar dinner for women. The events were combined in 1972 and to this day are supported by an endowment established by the elder Finkbine, as well as other alumni, friends, and the UI Center for Advancement.

Read more about all the award recipients.

Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion recipient

Cynthia Nance received a Juris Doctor from Iowa in 1989 and a Master of Arts in business administration in 1991. She is dean emerita and the Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas School of Law. Her teaching and scholarship focus on labor and employment law, workplace legislation, and poverty law. She was the Arkansas law school’s first director of pro bono and community engagement.

Nance’s loyalty to the University of Iowa has been exceptional. In addition to her continued teaching of Iowa students, she has never hesitated to teach in Iowa’s Hubbard Pre Law or Bridge program, to speak with an alumni group, or to connect Iowa students and alums with her professional network. She was selected as Iowa Law’s first faculty fellow.

In September 2020, Nance was named chair-elect of the American Bar Foundation. She is the former Eighth Circuit member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, and she represented the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section in the House of Delegates. She has been recognized by the American Association for Affirmative Action, the ABA, and the Arkansas Bar Association, among many others. In 2018, she earned the ABA’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.