Lucille A. Carver
"Throughout her life’s many roles—board member, businesswoman, mother, wife, and friend—Lucille never lost sight of her passion for helping others."
Lucille Avis (Young) Carver was born in a small Iowa town that has a close link to the Mississippi River and an even closer bond among the community’s residents. These strong connections—to both people and place—helped shape Carver’s lifelong passion for supporting education and the environment.
The Muscatine, Iowa, native, who was born on July 27, 1917, and died in her hometown on December 18, 2010, at the age of 93, was well known for her generous philanthropic ventures and her genuine interest in others. Carver and her husband, Roy J. Carver, Sr., whom she married on August 22, 1942, became well-known benefactors through their internationally successful, Muscatine-based businesses.
Their success story began with the Carver Pump Company and evolved into Carver Foundry Products, followed by Bandag, Inc., a tire-retreading company that the Carvers established in 1957. Eventually, the Carver family would sell Bandag, Inc., to Bridgestone Corporation in 2007, and it would become Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions.
The Carvers began supporting The University of Iowa—where Lucille had gone to school—in 1969, and she received the University of Iowa Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 1972. Throughout the years, the couple made very generous contributions to the UI and other community and educational organizations, while also running their family businesses and raising their four boys: Roy J. Carver, Jr.; Martin G. Carver; John A. Carver; and Clayton C. Carver, who died in 1983.
When Roy J. Carver, Sr., died in 1981, his will created the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, one of Iowa’s largest private philanthropic foundations, and Lucille served on its board of trustees from 1985 through her retirement in 2002. She also was a former board member of the Carver Pump Company, Carver Foundry Products, and Bandag, Inc., and she served on the University of Iowa Foundation Board of Directors from 1981 to 1985.
Throughout her life’s many roles—board member, businesswoman, mother, wife, and friend—Lucille never lost sight of her passion for helping others. Among her notable giving legacies includes the establishment of the University of Iowa Lucille A. Carver Missisippi Riverside Environmental Research Station at the Fairport Fish Hatchery near Muscatine in 2001. The 7,500-square-foot building is home to hydraulics experts, biologists, geologists, environmental scientists, and students who conduct collaborative research.
In addition, Lucille oversaw, in 2002, the largest gift ever made for the UI at the time in the form of a $63 million commitment from the Carver Charitable Trust to support research, capital advancements, and faculty endowments in the University’s College of Medicine. This gift and other contributions from the trust added up to $90 million in private support and prompted the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, to approve the formal naming of the University of Iowa College of Medicine as the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. In 2006, Lucille and other members of her family also attended the dedication of the newly renamed University of Iowa Carver Family Center for Macular Degeneration.
Willard “Sandy” Boyd, president emeritus of The University of Iowa and the longest-serving member on the Carver Charitable Trust Board of Trustees, once said of Lucille: “She was always interested in, and concerned about, the well being of others. She had enormous compassion and warmth.” Throughout her long life, Lucille A. Carver stayed true to those core values and, in doing so, created a legacy as enduring as the Mississippi River itself.