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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 2, 2009

Fraternal Order of Eagles advances UI diabetes partnership

One year after making an historic, five-year, $25 million pledge to establish The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa, the Eagles will deliver the first $5 million installment in a pre-game ceremony at the Hawkeye football game with Arkansas State University on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Eagles leaders will formally present the gift to UI Foundation and UI leaders, including UI President Sally Mason, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

"Diabetes is one of the foremost health issues of our time, and breakthroughs in our understanding and treatment of it are critically needed," Mason said. "Our common purpose and partnership in this enterprise with the more than 1 million Eagles members puts the UI ever closer to the 'tipping point' on several fronts with diabetes. This latest demonstration of generosity by the Eagles gives us great hope and is deeply appreciated not just by the university, but by all affected by diabetes."

The UI will use the Eagles $25 million commitment to recruit and support the work of top-flight diabetes biomedical researchers, and to fund interdisciplinary research programs that will bring experts from several fields together to seek a cure for diabetes.

Planned uses of the Eagles gift include: an $8 million endowment to provide four endowed chairs for diabetes research, a $2 million endowment to provide two faculty fellowships for diabetes research, a $5 million endowment to support innovative diabetes research programs, and a $10 million non-endowed fund to recruit leaders in diabetes science and translational medicine.

"All Eagles are very proud to be so integrally involved in and associated with this impressive effort in diabetes research at the University of Iowa," said Mike B. Lagervall Sr., the current Grand Worthy President of The Fraternal Order of Eagles. "Our motto is 'People Helping People,' and in this case it is about a million Eagles helping hundreds of scientists and physicians at the UI to help millions of people with diabetes. It is not only a gratifying cause for us; it is a vitally important one as well."

The World Health Organization has declared diabetes a public health crisis, and experts warn that diabetes-related deaths could increase by 50 percent in the next 10 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes affects an estimated 24 million Americans, or 8 percent of the population. It is the leading cause of blindness among adults aged 20-74, is the leading cause of kidney failure and it increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by two to four times.

Founded in 1898, The Fraternal Order of Eagles is an international nonprofit organization with more than 1,500 local aeries. The organization donates more than $100 million a year to local communities, fundraisers and charities, and it has supported research and treatment efforts in kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and spinal cord injury, among other initiatives. For more information, visit

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the foundation, visit its Web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

MEDIA CONTACT: Brenda Duello, executive director of development, UI Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics,, 319-350-3663

High resolution and web-ready images of UI President Sally Mason are available (through Flickr):

A high-resolution image of Eagles Grand Worthy President Mike B. Lagervall Sr. is available at:

A Web-ready image of Lagervall is available at:

A high-resolution image of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie logo is available at:

A web-ready image of Eagles logo is available at: