The University of Iowa Eight Over 80 Award Winners

The 2023 Eight Over 80 Award Winners

Elizabeth Clothier (74BA, 94MA)

A teacher in the Iowa City Community School District for 28 years, Elizabeth Clothier used her experience as a United Kingdom native becoming a U.S. citizen to teach third-grade classes about citizenship.

For Clothier, service learning was a major focus in the classroom—whether it was assembling book kits for families of newborns through the Books for Babies program or baking and delivering bread through the Iowa City Free Lunch Program. Her volunteerism extended beyond the classroom through organizations such as the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art, and mentorship of elementary student teachers through the UI College of Education.

Since retiring from the classroom in 2002, Clothier has continued to give back to her community through her volunteerism. She’s been an integral member of the Iowa City Free Lunch Program, and she also delivers meals through Meals on Wheels to individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals. Clothier also works with the Compeer Program, which matches community volunteers with adults receiving mental health treatment to develop structured friendships and combat loneliness and isolation.

Nancy (61BA) and Thomas (60BSME) Hanson

Nancy and Thomas Hanson have lived lives dedicated to giving back to those less fortunate—and supporting each other in community activism throughout their marriage that now spans more than 60 years.

After graduating from Iowa, Tom pursued a career in the commercial and industrial heating, ventilating, and air conditioning industry. Nancy earned a Master in Social Work and served in various roles, including as director of court services for the Council on Drug Abuse in North Carolina and executive director of St. Thomas Hospice in the Chicagoland area.

Tom has served on various boards and committees during his professional and retirement years—working to provide affordable housing in Chicago and supporting student success initiatives during his time on the University of Iowa Center for Advancement board. Nancy is a founder of a medical respite program in Chicago that is providing a place of healing for ill and injured homeless men and women discharged from the hospital. She continues to serve on other boards that address the issue of homelessness.

Generously supportive of the UI College of Engineering, the Hansons founded the Hanson Center for Communication and Virginia A. Myers Nexus for Engineering and the Arts. Both programs are recognized as strengths of the college that stem from the Hansons’ desire to help students develop communication and artistic skills to complement their engineering education.

Ann Howard Jones (64BM, 66MA, 84DMA)

Ann Howard Jones has built a distinguished career in both choral and orchestral conducting.

She earned three music degrees from the University of Iowa before pursuing various roles in the music field—including 24 years as director of choral activities at Boston University. Throughout her storied career, Jones won several awards—including the Robert Shaw Award presented by the American Choral Directors Association, the Distinguished Service Award from Chorus America, and a Fulbright professorship to Brazil.

Jones is now professor emerita, and since retirement, she has moved back to Iowa and continues to share her passion of music with others. At Iowa, she has created a residency program that brings professional choral ensembles to the university to teach masterclasses and perform for music students and the community. She continues to teach in several universities around the country and is an active mentor and guest conductor.

Jones has also donated her lifetime of scores, books, and notes to the UI’s Rita Benton Music Library for others to enjoy and learn from and has provided funds to the UI School of Music to support an additional research assistant.

James Kimball (64MD)

James Kimball has strong passions for medicine, aviation, the arts, and economic development.

After graduating from Iowa and serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War—receiving a Bronze Star for his service to his country—Kimball worked in family medicine for nearly six decades. He delivered more than 1,000 newborns in Osceola and helped and supervised another 10,000 deliveries at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines. Throughout his medical career, Kimball won various awards and provided leadership to numerous organizations, including winning the Iowa Medical Society Physician’s Community Service Award.

While medicine was his professional passion, Kimball made a big impact in his community. As president of the Clarke County Development Corporation, he worked to have Lakeside Casino and Hotel built in Osceola, which has resulted in millions of dollars in revenue for local communities.

Today, he serves as a senior aviation medical examiner and certifies over 200 pilots per year. He also started the Kimball Foundation, which provides scholarship opportunities for area students who are admitted to an accredited medical school. Kimball continues to host a radio show in Osceola and supports, as well as acts in, local arts productions.

Jean Lloyd-Jones (71MA)

Jean Lloyd-Jones has devoted much of her life to helping women pursue careers in politics.

Born in Washington, DC, Lloyd-Jones spent her childhood in New Mexico where her father was a lawyer who served in the state legislature while going to law school. She earned a master’s degree in history from Iowa and served two terms as state president of the League of Women Voters. In 1979, Lloyd-Jones was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives and served four times before being elected to two more terms in the Iowa Senate. As a state legislator, she helped form a support group for women pages—which later became the Legislative Women’s Caucus—and managed the "Buckle Up Baby" bill and the first legislation in the nation requiring all state board and commissions to be gender balanced.

Her political influence went far beyond the capital, though, working toward equality for women in politics. She conceived the idea for the Iowa Peace Institute, worked to build and fund that organization, and served as its chair for the first eight years. Most recently, she has worked as an advocate to increase the number of women involved in politics in the state by helping to make the history of Iowa women in politics more accessible to the public, including through a gift to the UI-based Iowa Women's Archives.

Paul McKeen (56BA)

Paul McKeen earned an honorary letter from Iowa in 1983 for promoting University of Iowa athletics and establishing the Johnson County I-Club. Since then, McKeen has continued to devote time and energy giving back to his community. McKeen has used his experiences in sales and finance—building three successful companies—to mentor and assist young people in planning and growing their own businesses.

An avid reader, McKeen has made books more accessible to those in assisted living facilities and worked with libraries, community members, and others to gather materials for a lending library. Most recently, he worked to add a large-print section to the library for those who have trouble reading smaller print.

He also helped start a clothing drive for the unhoused population in Arizona and provided clothing, bedding, toiletries, and toys to nearly 80 families—including 46 children. What started as a one-time clothing drive has now grown into a yearly effort that collects school supplies for children and benefits a local women’s shelter.

Currently, McKeen is organizing a back-to-school program to support homeless children and children of domestic violence victims—with the goal of providing backpacks, clothing, and school supplies to those individuals.

Jerre (65BA, 11LHD) and Mary Joy Stead

Jerre and Mary Joy Stead are dedicated to impacting others through philanthropy, volunteering, and leadership.

After Jerre’s graduation from Iowa in 1965, the high school sweethearts and Maquoketa, Iowa, natives set off for a life of achievements and adventures. While Jerre led numerous organizations as CEO and chairman, Mary Joy cared for their family and established community connections in locations ranging from Minneapolis to Brussels, Belgium.

No matter where they lived, the Steads never forgot about Iowa. Their visionary generosity and transformative gifts helped build the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and elevated the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics, offering pediatric patients the highest level of care, comfort, and compassion. Most recently, they made a significant gift to create the Stead Family Scholars program, which funds research grants to outstanding early career scholars in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

In addition, through their commitment to volunteerism and engagement, the Steads have chaired 16 campaigns for nonprofit organizations, including at Iowa, and are founding donors of community organizations Healthy LifeStars and Community 43. The Steads are also ardent supporters of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, Salk Institute, and the Garrett Evangelical Seminary.

Today, Jerre is chair emeritus at Clarivate and is chairman of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Garret Evangelical Seminary. Mary Joy has served on the UI Center for Advancement board since 1999.

Orville “Speedy” Townsend (67BS, 72MA)

A former student-athlete who came to the University of Iowa on a football scholarship, Orville “Speedy” Townsend made an indelible impact on the Hawkeye state through his work at Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Townsend worked for the organization for 42 years—including as a supervisor for 25 years in the Iowa City office.

Community involvement is something that has always been important to Townsend. The former school board member and leader for the Iowa Black Alumni Association (IBAA) also has served as an advocate and expert for inclusion initiatives across the UI campus and Iowa City community.

Today, Townsend continues to sit on numerous boards and committees for the betterment of the university and Iowa City community. He’s vice chair of both the Iowa City Police Review Board and Black Voices Project, and Townsend is a member of the Hawkeye Connections Membership Program—which works to connect Iowa’s student-athletes with faculty, staff, and local community leaders. Additionally, Townsend continues to be an integral member of IBAA as it works to recognize the achievements and service of Black students and alumni.

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 of the 2022 Eight Over 80 Award recipients!

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