The Upper Iowa University community is mourning the death of a distinguished alumna, Diane (Kinkead) Harms of West Des Moines. Diane passed away Monday, surrounded by family and friends, after experiencing a sudden medical issue earlier in the weekend.
A 1973 UIU graduate, with a degree in psychology, Diane was a three-year member of the cheer team and proud member of the E.Y.E. social organization. It was at UIU that Diane met Steve Harms (’73), and the two would enjoy nearly 50 years of marriage. In 2019, Diane, along with Steve, was inducted into the UIU Athletics Hall of Fame in recognition of a lifetime of commitment and philanthropy to UIU.
Very important to Diane’s UIU support was the establishment of the Diane Kinkead Harms Cheer Endowment in 2014. Her $1.65 million gift helped to revitalize the cheerleading program, which has since become a varsity sport within the UIU Athletics Department. The endowment funds a full-time head coach, as well as operational costs, to ensure the longevity of the program. Diane and Steve also funded the construction of the new Harms-Eischeid Stadium in 2011 and contributed to numerous other UIU causes which includes the Recreation Center, major facility upgrades, UIU Giving Days, the President’s Residence, and many other areas.
Diane was a dedicated and passionate Peacock. Her warm and vivacious personality made her the life of any party and her generous heart made her a loyal friend to many. Diane was selfless, caring and fun. It is hard for any of us at UIU to imagine a Homecoming weekend or football game without Diane standing by to cheer on the football team and cheer squad.
Our hearts go out to Steve and the entire Harms family, which includes five children, 13 grandchildren, and countless friends and fellow UIU alumni. In remarks during her and Steve’s induction into the Hall of Fame, Diane spoke of being humbled by the honor and by all that she experienced as a UIU student and alum. Today, we are all humbled by the legacy that Diane Harms leaves behind at UIU.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, September 16 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home & Crematory, 8201 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, IA. A funeral service will be held on September 17 at 11 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 10395 University Avenue, Clive, IA. A celebration of life will follow the service at The Embassy Club West, 520 Market Street, West Des Moines, IA.