Davenport publisher Philip D. Alder, '26BA, a recognized "benefactor and constant friend to the University of Iowa," received one of the U of I's highest honors this June as recipient of the fourth annual Distinguished Service Award.
Adler, president of Lee Enterprises, Inc., which includes publication of the Davenport Times-Democrat, received the bronze medallion and accompanying citation from President Howard R. Bowen at the All Alumni Luncheon in Iowa City, June 11.
Loren L. Hickerson, executive director of the U of I Alumni Association read the text of the citation which called attention to Adler's "well spring of leadership and inspiration and generosity of his service.
The Distinguished Service Award, established in 1962, acknowledges "specific and meritorious services in behalf of the quality and advancement of the University; distinguished accomplishment in business or professional life and/or distinguished human services in community affairs at the local, state or national level." Adler scores highly on each count.
In 1963 he was named president of the board of trustees of the University of Iowa School of Religion for a two-year term, and has been the non-university campaign chairman for the U of I's Museum of Art. A native of Davenport, he was named Quad-City "Man of the Year" in 1964.
Adler began his newspaper career in high school as editor of the school newspaper and annual. At the University he was an editor of the Daily Iowan student newspaper, and upon graduation, became publisher of the Kewanee, Ill., Star-Courier. During World War II he served in the Office of Censorship in Washington and, after V-J Day, made a two-month survey of France, Britain and occupied Germany. He recorded his experiences in Europe in his book, "Overseas Assignment." In 1949 Adler succeeded his father, E.P. Adler, as vice president of the Lee Enterprises and publisher of the Davenport Times.
In both Kewanee and Davenport, Adler has been active in civic, welfare, educational and cultural fields. He is a member of the board of trustees of St. Luke's and Mercy hospitals in Davenport, and has served as president of the Scott County chapter of the American Red Cross and the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery. He has been interested in the Davenport educational institutions, serving as trustee of the St. Ambrose College and working with the Davenport school board on plans for expansion of school opportunities. A member of the Temple Emanuel Board of Trustees, he was chairman of the Temple Emanuel Centennial Committee in 1961.
Adler has served on boards of directors of other organizations, including the Iowa-Illinois Industrial Development Group, Davenport Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA, and has been vice-president of the Friendly House. He participated in the fund for financing Camp Conestoga for Girl Scouts near Dixon, Ill., in 1949. He has also been a member of the board of United Community Services, on the advisory councils of the Junior Achievement movement and the Davenport visiting Nurse Association, and on the advisory board of the Lend-a-Hand Club.
As the 1966 recipient of the University's Distinguished Service Award, Adler joins a select group13 men and women so honored since the inception of the award.