"If not for scholarships, grants, and loans bridging the funding shortfall, I may not have gotten to the finish line."

Park City, Utah

Kevin Gruneich didn’t have any big advantages growing up as a middle-class kid in Montezuma, Iowa. The son of a Presbyterian minister and a part-time secretary/homemaker, Kevin paid his own way through college at the UI, having begun working and saving as early as grade school. But he didn’t do it alone.

“I had some obstacles to overcome but they were modest compared to the obstacles other students face—especially minority and first-generation college students.”

That’s why Kevin now gives generously to support students from underrepresented minority groups at The University of Iowa. In addition to creating the Kevin Gruneich Opportunity at Iowa Scholarship Fund, he is also underwriting The Iowa Edge, a  program that strives to provide orientation, programming, community-building, and counseling support for minority and first-generation college students new to the UI.

“I am just beginning to return the investment others have made in me,” he explains, and he hopes that his philanthropy will multiply with future generations. “I believe the students I help will eventually also be there to help others, creating a virtuous cycle that will improve the University, the state, and society as a whole.”

For Kevin, there’s something special about young people just getting started in their lives and careers. “The undergraduate years are so important,” he explains. “What one experiences, learns, and practices during college, along with the momentum coming out of this period, is key to attaining life goals.”

Thanks to scholarships provided with the help of friends like Kevin Gruneich, deserving UI students will have no trouble building up speed toward reaching those goals.