Saturday, August 25, 2012

It is a great honor and a personal delight for me to join you today at this special celebration. I thank the museum and Henry Tippie for making this annex a reality and for giving Belle Plaine residents and everyone who visits here the opportunity to learn about the amazing legacy of this very important figure in Iowa history.

Henry Tippie is a true Iowa institution. And he is a true University of Iowa institution as well. The Tippie name is one of the most prominent on our campus—as the name of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business proves! Henry and his wife Pat have been extraordinarily generous in sharing so much with us over the years. Not only have the Tippies benefited the College of Business so greatly, but also many other areas across campus. Their generosity extends from the preservation of our historic traditions, such as the Old Capitol, to the advancement of our future in areas such as athletics and business education.

And I know that you’ve experienced the Tippie generosity yourself. He and Pat have been very generous to the community of Belle Plaine, funding hundreds of scholarships for Belle Plaine graduates, as well as support for your library, museum, airport and industrial park, and the local Tippie-Mansifeld Kirkwood Community College Center. The bounds of our gratitude are impossible to express.

Henry Tippie is so much more than an institution and a name to us at the university. He is a remarkable friend and a great inspiration to us all, as I know he is to the community of Belle Plaine. This annex will preserve and share a true Iowa success story: from young Henry Tippie going to school in a one-room schoolhouse, to serving his country in the Army Air Corps, to a UI degree earned through the G.I. Bill, to a nationally prominent career. Over the course of decades and through many years of great success, Henry Tippie has never forgotten his roots in Belle Plaine, Iowa; his alma mater, the University of Iowa; the importance of providing excellent educational opportunities to students; or the welfare of his hometown.

Henry Tippie embodies achievement and excellence, and he provides an example to which our students at Iowa, the people of Belle Plaine, and all who encounter him can aspire. Over the years, his talent, ingenuity, and plain old hard work and determination helped him advance very quickly. One fact that I often like to share with our students at the UI is that Mr. Tippie completed his college degree in two years, and it wasn’t that long before he became owner, manager, or CEO of numerous businesses.

One important part of Mr. Tippie’s success is his generosity. I’ve already mentioned his philanthropic contributions to our university, which have been largely focused on education and research, including student scholarships and endowed professorships. But Henry Tippie goes beyond that and helps our students directly. He teaches them, he mentors them, and he shares his vast experience with them. Mr. Tippie brings his wisdom honed by years of innovative work directly to our students—he is a business and management master class in and of himself.

We are always grateful when Henry Tippie comes home to the University of Iowa—to teach our students, to share his knowledge and vision, and to bring his special joy to our community. I am sure your community feels the same way, and we are all grateful that Henry’s lifetime memorabilia collection is coming home to Iowa and to Belle Plaine. We at the university share in your gratitude that Henry remembers his roots so profoundly and shares his life with us so generously.

Congratulations on the realization of this important milestone for the community of Belle Plaine, and thank you, Henry, for everything you have done for us all.