Press Center

John and Mary Pappajohn Receive National Arts Award

October 24, 2013

Pappajohns receive the Eli and Edyth Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts, recognizing a lifetime of philanthropy

IOWA CITY, IA, October 23, 2013 – Two of the University of Iowa’s most generous donors, John and Mary Pappajohn of Des Moines, received the Eli and Edyth Broad Award for Philanthropy in the Arts during the 2013 National Arts Awards ceremony in New York City.

Americans for the Arts, the leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education in the United States, presents the annual awards. The organization recognizes artists and arts leaders who exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary artistic achievement. Other 2013 National Arts Awards recipients include Dakota Fanning, B.B. King, Joel Shapiro and Alberto Cavalho.

John Pappajohn received his B.S.C. degree from the UI in 1952. Among the Pappajohn’s many significant UI contributions include naming gifts for the Pappajohn Business Building, the Pappajohn Pavilion at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and the new Pappajohn Biomedical Institute in the John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building.

“John and Mary have made such a difference in the lives of so many people in Iowa and around the world through their philanthropy in many different areas, including the arts, higher education and health care,” said Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Foundation. “We congratulate John and Mary on this prestigious and well-deserved award.”

As stated in the 2013 National Arts Awards announcement:

John and Mary Pappajohn have been longtime supporters of the arts as well as of social service, educational and medical programs. John Pappajohn served for 12 years on the board of directors of the Des Moines Art Center and remains an honorary trustee. Mary Pappajohn has served for 18 years as a trustee for the Des Moines Art Center and continues as an active trustee. She also is the head of the museum’s Acquisition Committee. John and Mary donated several works of art to the Des Moines Art Center, including 27 pieces of sculpture that form the core collection of the 4.5-acre John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in downtown Des Moines. John also is vice chairman of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Board of Trustees and has been a trustee there for 13 years. He also has been active on the Trustee Council of the National Gallery of Art as well as long- time co-chair of its National Collectors Committee. Mary has been an active director at the Walker Art Center, in her hometown of Minneapolis, for 12 years, and John and Mary both are members of the Walker Advisory Board. John and Mary have been members of the National Committee of the Performing Arts of the Kennedy Center, in Washington D.C., for more than 20 years and have been listed in ARTnews as being among the top 200 Collectors in the world for more than 15 years. They continue to support artists, institutions and programming worldwide.

For more information about the 2013 National Arts Awards, please see the Americans for the Arts Press Release.

About the University of Iowa Foundation

The University of Iowa 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.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa. For more information about the foundation and the campaign, visit the foundation website at

MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Larson, executive director, communications and marketing, the University of Iowa Foundation; 319-467-3661; mobile 917-345-9841;

For a full press kit, images and access to b-roll, visit