Michael J. New, 64BA, 67MA, was president of the University of Iowa Foundation from 1998 until his death in 2006, serving as its very capable leader during the largest capital campaign in the history of the UI and helping to raise $1 billion for the university.
News career at the foundation spanned 30 years. Hired in 1976 as associate director for health sciences development, he worked closely with the organizations legendary president, Darrell Wyrick. In 1986, he was named vice president for development programs. New played a lead role in nearly every major UI fund-raising venture during this time, from the Iowa Endowment 2000 campaign, to the renovation of Hancher Auditorium, to the remarkable expansion of the UIs medical center (both clinical and research), to the building of the Levitt Center for University Advancement, and to special efforts for the Belin-Blank Center, among many others.
Following a nationwide search for new leadership upon Wyricks retirement, New was appointed president of the UI Foundation in 1998, the decision both an obvious and unanimous one. New not only took great pride in his own Iowa roots and connection to the University of Iowa, but he also believed that the many thousands of people whose lives have been positively influenced by the university would commit to giving back once they understood the profound impact their gifts could have on the quality of a UI education.
News gift was in his passion for the university, in recognizing the potential for support among its alumni and friends, and in his ability to recruit, mentor, mobilize, and lead a team of development professionals to raise funds to support and enhance the university. He was well respected and loved by his colleagues, who were motivated by his warmth, wit, intelligence, sincerity, and above all, integrity and generosity of spirit.
Says David Dierks, UI Foundation vice president and News longtime colleague and friend, Michael led the foundation during a period of immense change . . . and his natty, confident, and professional leadership helped to pull the foundation into the 21st century and to become an increasingly important partner with the university—raising funds of critical importance and creating opportunity for greatness within the institution.
The planning for and execution of the UIs seven-year comprehensive campaign from 1998 to 2005 coincided almost exactly with News tenure as president of the UI Foundation. Under his leadership, the foundation significantly expanded its fund-raising capacity and raised more than $1 billion in outright gifts and future commitments for all areas and needs of the university.
Former UI president Mary Sue Coleman said of New, Not only has he created a sense of community within the foundation staff, he has set an ethical standard that is almost without peer.
Before his untimely death from cancer in April 2006, Michael New was able to celebrate the unparalleled success of the Good. Better. Best. Iowa campaign he helped lead, and to know the deep and lasting impact his life work would have on the university he loved.
New was a life and Old Capitol Club member of the UI Alumni Association and a bronze-level member of the UI Foundations Presidents Club.