Jill N. McLaughlin, 53BA, has an infectious enthusiasm that makes her prodigious volunteer work for the University of Iowa a real asset. For those who have had the pleasure of meeting her, that ebullience seems a remarkably winning dimension of character. For her alma mater, the University of Iowa, it has worked wonders.
McLaughlin, a Quad Cities resident, presently serves on the Board of Directors for the UI Foundation and is a member of their Steering Committee for the UI's $150 million Iowa Endowment 2000 Campaign. Her past roles as a university support services volunteer and fund-raiser include membership on the Alumni Association's Board of Directors, association representative of the UI Board in Control of Athletics, an Old Capitol Restoration Committee member, a UI Committee on Outreach member, and vice chairman for the Carver/Hawkeye Arena Campaign.
McLaughlin's fund-raising style has been described as low-key, but extremely effective. During her UI arena campaign duties, she attended and spoke at nearly every local kickoff event throughout Iowa. Never pressuring potential contributors, she managed to stir the magnanimous sentiments of Iowa loyalists through her fervor for enhancement of university programs.
Sometimes fund raising involves an element of serendipity. In 1980, when the Hawkeye basketball team was participating in the NCAA Final Four, McLaughlin attended a party in Indianapolis for Iowa fans and alumni. She talked to a man who, upon learning that she was active in the arena campaign, mentioned that he might be interested in donating. She scribbled his name down on a cocktail napkin and, several days alter, remembered to fish that napkin out of her suit pocket to give to the UI Foundation President Darrell Wyrick. The man eventually made one of the largest contributions to the campaign.
That Jill McLaughlin likes to tell that story is a measure of both her modesty as a friend to the university and her warm sense of humor. She first showed her penchant for volunteering at the University of Iowa, where she transferred after two years at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. As an undergraduate, McLaughlin was an active member of the UI's Delta Gamma Sorority and frequently volunteered to read to ailing children in the old Children's Hospital.
That early volunteer streak in Jill McLaughlin's character has continued to find expression in the Quad Cities community long after graduation. She at one time was president of the Quad-City Symphony and is currently chairman of a committee planning that organization's 75th anniversary celebration during the 1989/90 season. She was also director of both the Putnam Museum in Davenport and the United Way of Scott and Rock Island counties and chapter chairman of the Quad Cities Red Cross. She remains an active board member for all these organizations as well as the Quad Cities Graduate Study Center.
The level of her involvement with the Red Cross alone is impressive. From 1985-86, she was a national committee member for the nomination to their board of governors and is now a member of the Headquarters Advisory Council for their Midwest operations. As a Red Cross AIDS Task Force member, she has been promoting AIDS education programs for public schools and the workplace.
In a troubled economy, voluntarism is a rare commodity. But the University of Iowa is proud to count Jill McLaughlin's dedication and exuberance among its most prized assets.