Class gifts stand the test of time

Naylor's Cove 1969 Class Gift

Throughout the years, graduating classes have given back to future Upper Iowa University (UIU) students through a Class Gift project. These projects had faded in recent years, but the Class of 2016 successfully revived the Class Gift with a highly successful campaign benefiting the University’s Annual Fund.

The 2016 Class Gift campaign provided Upper Iowa’s most recent alumni the opportunity to begin putting a stamp on their legacy at their alma mater. Over $9,100 was raised through gifts by or in honor of over 130 students and matching funds from the UIU Board of Trustees.

At the same time, the Class of 2016 joined a long list of former graduating classes who have donated monies or memorial items to UIU. UIU archivist Janette Garcia reports that among the first recorded class or memorial gifts was a grandfather clock purchased and donated to the University by the Class of 1910. Now showcased in the President’s Office on the main floor of Alexander-Dickman Hall, the clock was originally placed in the administrative offices then located on the second floor of the David B. Henderson Library.

Additional gifts have included the installation of stone pillars and seats at the entrance of the former College Hall (Class of 1916), a 60-foot flagpole (1917), $1,840 Endowment Fund campaign donation (1918), construction of Naylor’s Cove between Dorman Gymnasium and Baker-Hebron with white marble benches and shrubbery (1969), and two boulder monuments located on the west side of Alexander-Dickman Hall (1975).

University clubs and organizations have also contributed funds and items to UIU over the years. The most notable of those items may be the illuminated

Dorman Gymnasium illuminated peacock sculpture 1963 Letterman's Club

Dorman Gymnasium illuminated peacock sculpture – 1963 Letterman’s Club

peacock sculpture in Dorman Gymnasium, donated by the 1963 Letterman’s Club.


Garcia affirms that it is impossible to know the number of UIU students who have been positively impacted by the generosity of those who preceded them as the diversity of Class Gifts makes it difficult to gauge. Some gifts still stand as relics of past classes around Fayette Campus, while monetary gifts are not always easy to track.

While noting that she continues to investigate the history behind these and similar donations, Garcia said, “I have been impressed by the value the graduates put into earning their Upper Iowa degree, and their desire to give back to the University and improve the lives of future students. Many of the gifts were to improve the campus environment.”

The archivist noted that the entire senior class donated money to the aforementioned 1918 Endowment Campaign and then challenged the remaining classes to do the same. As an article from that time stated, “Above all don’t forget that an opportunity is open to you now to pledge yourselves to help in one of the grandest causes of mankind. You have the chance of making yourselves a little bigger and broader. Give something and feel that a part of Upper Iowa is your very own.”

However, even the relics are not immune to the erosion of time. Amid the archived articles previously published in The Collegian were complaints by students in both 1947 and 1964 that the grandfather clock chimed at the wrong times. With the help of Dr. Eugene Garbee in 1984, then President James Rocheleau was able to get the clock repaired. In other cases, rival classes are to blame. An engraved boulder donated by the Class of 1907 was originally placed by the Science Hall only to be allegedly stolen by members of the junior class, who buried it and refused to disclose its location. The boulder has never been found.

Class gifts provided by alumni and friends of the University are key to future student success, and continued growth and prosperity. Persons wishing to establish a class gift or make a donation are reminded to call 563-425-5388 or email Those with information about previous class or club gifts are invited to contact Garcia at or call 563-425-5722.

Archived Class and Club Gifts

1906 – Ivy on College Hall

1907 – Engraved boulder

1910 – Library clock

1911 – Electric lights on front steps of David B. Henderson Library

1912 – Fountain (location unknown)

1915 – Four gate posts marking campus entrance from street

1916 – Stone pillars and seats for College Hall entrance

1917 – 60’ steel flagpole and 9’ x 18’ flag

1918 – $1,840 Endowment Campaign donation, with 100 percent of seniors donating

1920 – Indirect lighting system for the library

1923 – Fireproof vault for upper floor of library.

1962 – Hand-hewn white oak bench

1963 – Dorman Gymnasium illuminated peacock sculpture from Letterman’s Club

1969 – White marble benches and shrubbery for Naylor’s Cove

1975 – Two boulders located on the west side of Alexander-Dickman Hall

1978 – Rather than hosting a class party, the sophomore class donated $77 for campus beautification and tree plantings

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