The R.J. McElroy Trust is committed to investing in opportunities that inspire and transform young people in Northeast Iowa. That includes students of the University of Northern Iowa.
R.J. McElroy Trust
The R.J. McElroy Trust’s imprint can be seen across the University of Northern Iowa campus, as the Trust first partnered with UNI in 1984 by contributing to the UNI School of Music. In the 30 years since, the Trust has awarded more than $5 million to the University of Northern Iowa Foundation to support scholarships, programs, faculty positions and facilities.
To recognize the difference the Trust has made, the UNI Foundation presented the Corporation and Foundation Award to Board Member Bob Smith on Saturday, November 8 as part of the 2014 Distinguished Awards Celebration. The award is presented annually to a corporation, foundation or organization that has demonstrated generosity to UNI.
The McElroy Trust has been a key part of some of UNI’s most prominent facilities, providing leadership gifts for the construction of the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC), McLeod Center and Human Performance Center.
In addition, the Trust has supported programs such as the Freeburg Early Childhood Program, the UNI Student Business Incubator (UNI SBI) in the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the GBPAC’s Kaleidoscope Series.
“The UNI SBI is a great resource for any student looking to start a business; we would have never been able to grow to the level we are today without the space, professional support, and other resources available,” said Ben Frein, a SBI client and founder of E-Holdings L.L.C.
Amy Hunzelman, director of Education and Special Projects at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, adds, “The McElroy Trust's support for the Kaleidoscope Series creates a deeper understanding of classroom subjects, serving as a supplementary tool in teaching core curriculum. In many cases the performances create an entry point for discussion of challenging material.”
The Trust also created an endowed faculty position focusing on issues and concerns related to youth. The position involves teaching, research and service in the areas of social policy, organizational leadership/management, philanthropy and foundations related to youth development.
“Funding to establish an endowed professorship in the area of youth leadership studies was instrumental in the early years of the program in expanding curricular offerings in this area,” said Chris Edginton, the R.J. McElroy Professor of Youth Leadership Studies. “We are grateful to McElroy for their support over the years.”
The R.J. McElroy Trust, located in Waterloo, Iowa, was established in 1965 by benefactor R.J. “Mac” McElroy. McElroy founded Black Hawk Broadcasting, which put KWWL on the radio and on television. Since its inception, the Trust has distributed more than $56 million to help deserving young people. The Trust annually awards $1.5 million to $2 million.