Jurgens to receive Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award

March 31, 2015




For more information, contact:      

Julie Larson, Iowa State University Alumni Association; (515) 294-8490; jklarson@iastate.edu


Jurgens to receive Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award

Richard Jurgens

Richard Jurgens

Ames, IOWA – The Iowa State University Alumni Association will confer upon Richard N. Jurgens (’71 industrial administration) of West Des Moines, Iowa the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given to alumni by Iowa State University through the ISU Alumni Association. This award has been presented annually since 1961 to individuals who are nationally and/or internationally recognized for preeminent contributions to their professions or life’s work.


Jurgens is the retired president and CEO of Hy-Vee, noe of Iowa’s most prominent companies. During his 42-year career with the company, particularly his 11 years as its leader, Jurgens played a key role in advancing causes of health and wellness in Iowa. During his tenure, Hy-Vee was a pioneering force: hiring in-store dieticians, creating walk-in health clinics, introducing its NuVal scoring system to help customers choose healthier food, and sponsoring such events as the Hy-Vee Triathlon—an opportunity for athletes at every level to be active and healthy. Jurgens has gone on to volunteer his leadership to similar movements, including the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative and the Partnership for a Healthier America Board.


Jurgens is recognized as an expert in food marketing. He served two years as the chairman of the Food Marketing Institute, a nationwide advocacy organization previously struggling to stay organized and active until Jurgens turned it around. He is the recipient of numerous professional honors, including the Iowa Grocery Industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Food Marketing Institute’s Sidney R. Babb Award.


The other recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award are Theodore Crosbie of Earlham, Iowa and Thomas and Evonne Smith of Austin, Texas.


Distinguished awards recipients will be honored on campus Friday, April 17 at 1:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information on the 2015 Distinguished Awards Celebration, visit http://www.isualum.org/dac

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