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AMES, Iowa — The College of Business at Iowa State University honored Union Pacific Corporation of Omaha, Neb. as the first corporate recipient of its Russ and Ann Gerdin Award. The college presented the company with the award at the university’s 82nd Honors and Awards Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 8.
The Russ and Ann Gerdin Award is one of the college’s highest honors. Established in 2009, it honors contributions from valuable corporate partners or successful individuals who are not College of Business
graduates. The award is named in honor of Russ and Ann Gerdin, who in 1998 made a $10 million lead gift to build the Gerdin Business Building. Neither attended Iowa State.
“We’re thrilled to present Union Pacific with our Russ and Ann Gerdin Award,” said David Spalding, Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the College of Business. “Union Pacific has contributed significantly to our students, faculty, and staff, – in so many ways, over so many years. We’re thankful for their support of our college and look forward to a productive partnership for many more years.”
Diane Duren, Union Pacific’s executive vice president and corporate secretary, accepted the award on the company’s behalf. “Union Pacific is honored to be recognized for its contributions to the College of Business,” Duren said. “Receiving the Russ and Ann Gerdin Award demonstrates our continued commitment to supporting the college’s robust curriculum and talented students.”
Union Pacific Corporation is one of America’s leading transportation companies. Repeatedly recognized as one of the top employers of College of Business graduates, Union Pacific has been active in career fairs and other fair-related events such as student receptions and on-campus interviews. Iowa State is the only university at which all seven of Union Pacific’s business units recruit.
The firm’s reach on campus extends far beyond career recruitment. Union Pacific has sponsored UP Days at Iowa State in which the company provides students lunch and firsthand access to a mobile demonstration unit that showcases UP technology. It conducts technical presentations and frequently provides speakers in classrooms. UP initiated and sponsored a case competition for marketing students, and its executives frequently meet with ISU administrators and faculty to explore additional ways to enhance the relationship between the two entities.
Union Pacific has also been extremely generous in its philanthropy, particularly to College of Business faculty. It contributed funding for two named professorships, one in information systems and another in accounting in honor of Founding Dean Charles B. Handy. It also named the Undergraduate Programs Suite in the Gerdin Business Building. It has funded student scholarships and contributed to the ISU Investment Group, as well as other ISU student organizations. It also doubles its employees’ contributions to Iowa State University.