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Private philanthropy is critical to the success of the College of Business. Private donations will determine the prestige and reputation of our College for decades to come.

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Cory Hanson
Director of Development

Meet the Gerdins

Russ & Ann Gerdin

meet the gerdinsWho better to drive the College of Business building initiative than transportation leader Russell Gerdin and his wife, Ann? The couple, from Coralville, Iowa, started it all with their $10 million lead gift in the fall of 1998. In honor of the Gerdins’ commitment and leadership, the new College of Business facility, which opened in 2004, was named the Gerdin Business Building.


Both Russ and Ann Gerdin were born in Minnesota and earned their degrees from Moorhead State University. Ann received a degree in elementary education and is a former teacher. Russ received a degree in business. He founded Heartland Express, Inc., a highly successful trucking firm, in 1978 and served as its president, chairman, and chief executive officer. He passed away in October 2011.


Russ was a member of the College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. He and Ann made another major gift to the college, a $1 million donation which helped launch the college’s PhD program in business and technology. The Gerdins have also supported several other projects, including the Russell and Ann Gerdin American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Iowa City and gifts to the University of Iowa and their alma mater, Moorhead State University.


“It has been our desire to be fortunate enough to give toward the advancement of higher education, particularly in Iowa. We made the fit to Iowa State because we feel it is heading in the right direction. And for the College of Business to grow, its number one priority is a dedicated, prominent facility,” said Russ.


Remembering Russ Gerdin