Iowa Board of Regents

Richard O. Jacobson Foundation Gives $70 Million to Expand Health Care for Iowans

Aerial view of University of Iowa's hospitals and clinics.University of Iowa Center for Advancement Story

The Richard O. Jacobson Foundation has committed a $70 million gift to the University of Iowa toward a new patient care building for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. At its February meeting, the Board of Regents will consider approval of UI’s request to name a new patient care building in honor of Jacobson. 

The Board approved permission to proceed with planning for the UI’s 10-year master facilities plan, including the new UI Hospitals & Clinics patient care building, in January 2022. The plans and budget for the patient tower will go before the Regents for approval at a future date.

Jacobson’s most recent gift, the largest in the 175-year history of the UI, adds to his considerable philanthropic legacy. During his lifetime and through his foundation, Jacobson has pledged more than $86 million to the UI, including notable support for the Iowa Reading Research Center, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the UI Football Operations Building which bears his name. 

Previous support for UI Health Care includes gifts to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the UI Stead Family Department of Pediatrics and a gift to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“The generosity of this gift is extraordinary,” said Michael J. Richards, President of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. “UIHC must continue to prosper and grow, and this transformational funding gets the planning of the 10-year UI medical campus modernization off to a phenomenal start. I look forward to updates from the university.”

The Jacobson Foundation’s transformational gift will support expansion of UI Health Care’s service to Iowans by increasing patient capacity while modernizing its care facilities. The new patient care tower, still in the planning stages, would help UI Health Care meeting the complex care needs of all Iowans, allowing them to receive high-quality health care without leaving the state.

“A gift of this magnitude is truly remarkable,” said Sherry Bates, President Pro Tem of the Board of Regents and Chair of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Committee. “UIHC provides unique, high-quality health care for the entire state of Iowa. As the planning process moves forward, I am excited to see more details, which will make the services UIHC offers even better.”

Richard “Dick” Orrin Jacobson, a native of Belmond, Iowa, received the UI Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000 for his extraordinary support for the university. The Richard O. Jacobson Foundation was created in 1976 by Jacobson, a distinguished businessman and philanthropist, who attended the University of Iowa as a member of the class of 1958. For more than 45 years, the foundation has focused its grant activities in the following areas: education, including primary, secondary, and higher education; youth development; and medical research.

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