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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 10, 2009

UI's December commencement features honorary doctorate for Henry Tippie

The University of Iowa will award an honorary doctorate to UI alumnus and benefactor Henry B. Tippie as part of this December's commencement ceremonies.

Tippie will be honored at the undergraduate commencement for the Tippie College of Business at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Carver Hawkeye Arena, with UI President Sally Mason, Tippie College of Business Dean Curt Hunter, and Graduate College Dean John Keller presenting him with his degree.

"Henry Tippie is a man of gracious and humble demeanor but extraordinary achievement, and he is a role model for University of Iowa students," said Hunter. "He has built his businesses the right away, with hard work and ethical considerations always foremost. His generosity with the university ensures that he will continue to inspire our students for generations to come."

UI undergraduates from the UI Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Education, University College and Carver College of Medicine will also be honored at this time. Mason will confer degrees at this ceremony.

This is one of four graduation ceremonies held Friday, Dec. 18, and Saturday, Dec. 19, to honor approximately 1,543 students who will graduate at the end of the fall semester. Ceremonies and estimated numbers of graduates in each college will be as follows:

The Graduate College ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at Carver Hawkeye Arena with 192 master's degree candidates and 164 doctoral candidates. Mason will confer the degrees.

Mason will confer degrees at the ceremony for undergraduates from the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), Tippie College of Business, College of Nursing, College of Education and Carver College of Medicine Dec. 19, at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

CLAS has 782 degree-seeking candidates, including 128 from the UI College of Education who are obtaining their undergraduate certification in teacher education; Tippie has 275 degree candidates, including 192 business undergraduates and 83 MBAs; the UI College of Nursing has 69 degree candidates; and the UI Carver College of Medicine has 12 undergraduate candidates.

The College of Law will hold its ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Boyd Law Building with 24 degree-seeking candidates. UI Executive Vice President and Provost Wallace Loh will confer the law degrees, and retired Iowa Supreme Court Justice Linda Neuman will deliver the commencement address.

The College of Engineering will hold its ceremony at noon Saturday, Dec. 19, at Macbride Hall Auditorium, with 80 degree candidates. UI Interim Vice President for Research Jordan Cohen will confer the degrees.

Seats are not reserved and tickets are not necessary for admission to any of the commencement ceremonies. Doors will open one hour before each ceremony. Because of safety concerns, guests will not be allowed to take in large bags or backpacks. Also, security officials reserve the right to inspect purses or camera bags.

Tippie grew up on a dairy farm in Belle Plaine, Iowa, then served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II before coming to UI. He graduated with a BSC degree in accounting in 1949, completing his coursework in just two years.

After working as an accountant in Des Moines, Tippie moved to Delaware to work for what was then John W. Rollins and Associates, now Rollins Inc. At Rollins, he helped to develop the leveraged buyout when the company purchased Orkin Extermination in 1964.

Since then, he's owned or managed businesses involved in ranching, motorsports, radio and others. Today, five Rollins companies trade on the New York Stock Exchange and Tippie is still involved with Rollins enterprises. He is also chairman of Dover Motorsports, Inc. and Dover Downs Entertainment, Inc., and he owns a 33,000-acre ranch in Limestone County, Texas.

Tippie was an original member of the UI College of Business' Board of Visitors. During the campaign to raise funds for the Pappajohn Business Building, he donated funds to build an auditorium, student lounge and Pat's Diner, named for his wife.

In February 1999, Tippie made a significant contribution to the college of business to support its students and faculty. The college was renamed the Henry B. Tippie College of Business in his honor. This gift supports student scholarships and faculty research, including two endowed chairs as well as several professorships and fellowships. His scholarships have benefited a large number of business students as well as students from his native Belle Plaine, Iowa. He and Patricia now live in Austin, Texas.

The UI College of Education will host a teacher education convocation at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, in the Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge. Faculty speaker will be Katrina Sanders, associate professor in the UI COE Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies; student speaker will be Kirk Ryan, an elementary education major from Des Moines; and the keynote speaker with be Iowa Women's Head Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder. This convocation is by invitation only.

The School of Management (MBA program) will also host a graduation celebration for its 83 graduates at 4:30 pm. at the Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center on Friday, Dec. 18.

UITV will record the four commencement ceremonies. These include the colleges of engineering and law, the Graduate College and the combined college of liberal rrts, Tippie College of Business undergraduate and college of nursing ceremonies. These events will not be presented live, but will be available as a playback on UITV or by purchasing a DVD. There will not be any Web streaming or archive of these events. For more information, visit

For more information and details on each college's commencement, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Registrar's Office, 319-335-0296; Lois J. Gray, University News Services, 319-384-0077,; Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell),