Matthew Bucksbaum

49BA Achievement 2007

Matthew Bucksbaum, 49BA, has been instrumental in transforming the physical and economic landscape of America since creating one of the countrys first shopping malls in 1954.

The son of a small-town grocer, Bucksbaum began his career in real estate and retail soon after graduating from the UI with a degree in economics. Over the last half century, the company he founded, General Growth Properties (GGP), has become one of the largest developers, owners, and managers of retail real estate in the country.

In 1993, General Growth Properties went public for the second time, and, through a series of acquisitions, it has grown to own or manage more than 200 regional shopping malls across the country—including West Des Moines Jordan Creek Town Center and Coralvilles Coral Ridge Mall—with reported sales of $3.2 billion in 2005. In addition to shopping centers, GGP has ownership interest in master planned community developments and commercial office buildings. Formerly headquartered in Des Moines, GGP is now centered in Chicago and is the second largest U.S.-based publicly traded real estate investment trust.

As one of the pioneers of the shopping center industry, Bucksbaum holds the respect of his peers on a national level. He was elected to serve as president of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)—the highest honor awarded in the industry—and he is also a member of both the Urban Land Institute and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

He is a recipient of the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Land Institute of Chicago; the 1999 Human Rights Medallion Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Jewish Committee; the 1997 Outstanding CEO Award from the Realty Stock Review; and the 1997 Retail Property Executive of the Year Award from Commercial Property News.

Bucksbaums success has been accompanied by a strong desire to give back—to his alma mater, and to countless other nonprofit, cultural, and educational initiatives. In 2004, he established the Matthew Bucksbaum Family Faculty Fellowship within the UI Tippie College of Business.

He is a director-level member of the Deans Clubs of both the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Tippie College of Business. A strong advocate and supporter of the arts, he has given generously to the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera and the Des Moines Art Center, and he currently serves as a trustee for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Past chairman and a life trustee of the Aspen Music Festival and School, he helped raise millions of dollars for the festivals endowment fund.

Since graduating from the UI, Matthew Bucksbaum has done his alma mater proud as one of the UIs highest-achieving graduates in the world of business. He has further distinguished himself as a fine citizen through his continuing generosity and loyalty to the UI and to many other civic institutions.

Bucksbaum is a member of the UI Alumni Associations Directors Club Honors Circle and the UI Foundations Presidents Club.

Join our email list
Get the latest news and information for alumni, fans, and friends of the University of Iowa.
Iowa Stories
Iowa Magazine
Explore the Winter 2018-19 edition of the Iowa Magazine.