UNI receives largest ever gift from 1970 graduate

CEDAR FALLS — University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook announced a record $25 million gift Friday to the Cedar Falls school’s business college. “This is an historic moment, not only is this the largest gift to date to the Our Tomorrow campaign it’s the largest single gift the university has ever received,” Nook says.

The gift comes from 1970 U-N-I graduate David Wilson, who owns a nationwide chain of car dealerships. “In honor of this gift, we are pleased to announce pending Board of Regents approval this next month the first named college in the history of the University of Northern Iowa, the David W Wilson College of Business,” Nook says.

Wilson says he hopes the gift will will ensure students will learn to do things the right way. “Ethical capitalism needs all the help it can get. We believe this is a perfect time to make this gift to present a philosophical defense of capitalism. That’s why we’re giving the money to the business school, not the university,” Wilson says. “It is our hope this contribution will foster instruction that reveals the importance of maintaining ethical principles in the corporate environment at all levels.”

Wilson donated money to UNI in 1999 which led to the creation of the Wilson Chair in Business Ethics. “In our judgment our nation’s political future our political and economic future is in peril and ethical defense of free markets is crucial to reversing the current anti-capitalist trend that we see today in America,” Wilson says.

A portion of the gift also establishes the Wilson Scholars Fund, which will provide renewable scholarships for students from Tama County where Wilson grew up in the town of Traer.