The University of Iowa Eight Over 80 Awards

As Hawkeyes, we give back throughout our lives.

We're leaders in our professions. We're generous with our time and talent. We're passionate about things we love—especially anything black and gold. And some Hawkeyes continue to make an impact well beyond retirement.

That's why we are honoring Iowa alumni, age 80 and over, who carry the Hawkeye spirit of achievement and continue to help others. 

Congratulations to the 2022 Eight Over 80 Award Winners!

Willard L. “Sandy” Boyd

Willard L. “Sandy” Boyd (81LHD)

The UI professor emeritus of law and president emeritus also served as president of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. In 2000, he founded the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center, which supports nonprofits that provide vital services to their communities throughout the state.

Lynn Curry

Lynn Curry (65DDS)

A leader in the dental field for more than 50 years, Curry previously served as UI adjunct dentistry professor, president and trustee for the Iowa Dental Association, and as a member of the Iowa Dental Board. Curry is now a board member for the Iowa Delta Dental Foundation that he founded, as well as for the Delta Dental Plan of Iowa and UI Dental Alumni Board.

H. Dee Hoover

H. Dee Hoover (67MA, 69PhD)

The retired professor and chair of the research committee for the Iowa Measurement Research Foundation mentors students and faculty at the UI College of Education. Hoover’s also active in the operation of Senior College, and he and his wife, Myrene (68BA, 81MA, 91PhD), were campaign co-chairs for the UI Stanley Museum of Art.

Takako Lento

Takako Lento (67MFA)

One of the first graduates of the International Writing Program, Lento taught Japanese literature at Iowa before becoming an intercultural consultant and interpreter. Since retirement, she has twice won the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. Lento is now helping create an anthology of modern Japanese poetry to promote its inclusion in American education.

Robert Osterhaus

Robert Osterhaus (52BSP, 12DSC)

The former president of the American Pharmacists Association and past member of the Iowa House of Representatives began Osterhaus Pharmacy in Maquoketa 57 years ago. The president of Maquoketa Art Experience is now helping renew the town’s business district.

Mary Louise Petersen

Mary Louise Petersen (51BA, 13LHD)

With a passion for education and community involvement, Petersen served as president of the Iowa Board of Regents and as co-chair of the original Old Capitol restoration. She also led the Hawkeye/Arena Recreation campaign, acts as a lifetime honorary director for the UI Center for Advancement board, supports the UI Stanley Museum of Art, mentors university presidents, and advises UI students.

Ann Berner Sexton

Ann Berner Sexton (58BA)

A former high school English teacher and elementary school librarian, Sexton was influenced by Eleanor Roosevelt, who once urged a group of UI students to better their communities. Sexton has strived to live by those standards, serving as a board member and president of the Friends of the Ferguson Library, where she helped start a used book shop that benefits the library and a program that sends every baby born in Stamford, Connecticut, a book.

Shirley Nichols Sparks-Greif

Shirley Nichols Sparks-Greif (55BA)

As a former professor of early childhood special education, Sparks-Greif has written a textbook on home visiting for professional health care providers. Her career-long interest in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder has led to her facilitating support groups for parents of affected children.

Learn more about each Eight Over 80 award recipient!


The nomination cycle for the 2023 Eight Over 80 Awards will open in January 2023.

Questions? Please contact Erin Brokel at or 319-467-3668.

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