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Iowa Grad Gives $1.5 Million for UI Health Care

January 29, 2014
Gift contributes to For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, IA, January 29, 2014 — — A $1.5 million gift from University of Iowa alumnus Norman E. Johnson and his wife, Barbara J. (Bartlett) Johnson, of Naples, Florida, and Franklin, Tenn., will benefit two areas within UI Health Care—the Department of Otolaryngology in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and the new UI Children’s Hospital.

Barbara and Norman Johnson. Photo by Dusti Cermak, UI Foundation.

“Barb and I grew up in small Iowa towns—she from Denison, and I from Lake Mills—and met at the University of Iowa. We have been very fortunate in life and are pleased to give this gift to further advancements in cleft palate and other craniofacial abnormalities,” says Norm Johnson. “This gift is in honor of my father, who had a cleft palate and did not benefit from the progress that has been made throughout the years. I know he would be very proud that we are helping to further research and improve patient care and quality of life for many.”

The couple gave $1 million to create the Paul N. Johnson Professorship in the UI Carver College of Medicine. The professorship will provide ongoing support for a faculty member in the UI Department of Otolaryngology whose area of expertise is in craniofacial abnormalities.

The Johnsons also gave $500,000 to the UI Children’s Hospital Building Fund. The UI and the University of Iowa Foundation are in the midst of a $50 million campaign to support the construction of the $292 million, 480,000-square-foot facility, which is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2016.

Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Foundation, says the couple’s gift will enhance research and patient care at Iowa.

“Our new children’s hospital is quickly becoming a reality, thanks to generous donors like Norm and Barb Johnson,” says Marshall. “And their support for our faculty will not only improve educational experiences for our medical students, it also will contribute to research and discovery, and ultimately improve patient care. We are truly grateful for their dedication to their home state of Iowa.”

Norm Johnson earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the UI in 1971 and retired as chairman of the board and CEO of Clarcor (CLC NYSE) in 2012. He currently serves on the board of directors for Schneider National, Cracker Barrel, and Circor International as well as the board of visitors of the Vanderbilt Owen School of Management and is a former trustee of the National Manufacturers Alliance. The Johnsons’ daughter, Sarah (Johnson) Mertz, is a 1997 graduate of the University of Iowa.

The Johnsons’ gift was made through the University of Iowa Foundation. The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa.

About the University of Iowa Foundation
The UI Foundation’s mission is to advance the University of Iowa and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.

The UI and UI Foundation are conducting a historic comprehensive $1.7 billion fundraising campaign, For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa, which will secure the UI’s status as a world-class institution for future generations.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Larson, executive director, communications and marketing, the University of Iowa Foundation; 319-467-3661;
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For more information about For Iowa. Forever More., visit