Business & Real Estate

LAH couple donates $50M to Iowa State business school

Courtesy of Iowa State University College of Business
Los Altos Hills residents Jerry and Debbie Ivy donated $50 million to the Iowa State University College of Business. Their gift will primarily support a supply chain management program.

Los Altos Hills residents Debbie and Jerry Ivy’s $50 million donation to the Iowa State University College of Business, the largest in the university’s history, has led to another Iowa State first.

Pending approval of the Iowa Board of Regents, the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business will be the first donor-named college at the university.

This isn’t the couple’s first donation to the school. The Debbie and Jerry Ivy Chair in Business stems from a previous donation to Iowa State.

Jerry graduated from Iowa State with a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration in 1953. He joined the U.S. Navy’s NROTC program, which brought him to San Francisco’s Treasure Island. He left the Bay Area to start a business in Kansas City after his naval career, but he subsequently returned to the West Coast and founded Auto-Chlor System in Seattle.

Along the way, Debbie was hired as a bookkeeper in 1972, and she’s worked with Jerry ever since.

By 1986, the business had grown and the Ivys were on the move again.

“We moved to Los Altos to be more central to our operations and because we thought long term, we would like to live here,” Debbie said. “We are glad we did – this is a great area.”

The Ivys’ gift will establish an endowed fund that will eventually provide approximately $2 million annually designated to the college, primarily supporting the supply chain management program.

“We have learned that most business colleges have a specialty, and one of those at Iowa State is in supply chain management,” Debbie said. “There are many opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning, and 97 percent of the graduates come out of school already having a job.”

Funds also will support developing the school’s entrepreneurship and business analytics programs.

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