Students and staff react to David W. Wilson College of Business

Students and staff react to David W. Wilson College of Business

Two students wearing Wilson College of Business t-shirts passing out free t-shirts to students

When David W. Wilson pledged a historic $25 million donation to the College of Business at UNI on Oct. 20, cheers and applause erupted from the audience on the south lawn of the Curris Business Building. This impactful gift will make a difference in the lives of Panthers for years to come.

“It's really cool to see the opportunities for students and the scholarship and the impact that's going to have on students,” said Amy Rathmacher, a senior who is double majoring in marketing: advertising and digital media, and business analytics. 

This investment is already making an impact, allowing UNI to broaden scholarship opportunities, elevate its mission to promote integrity, encourage future leaders to think critically and make ethical decisions and foster a culture of innovation.

“I know the College of Business focuses a lot on always improving, so it’ll be exciting to see them go even further with this,” said Terrill Hagener, a triple major in supply chain management, management information systems: business analytics and finance: financial management.

The contribution will advance business ethics education and ensure graduates continue to thrive and lead in a rapidly changing business landscape. 

“I am excited for all the ethics programs that are going to be coming because I am interested in all of ethics and the potential that it has in the business world,” said Emily Dennis, a Master of Accounting student.

“[David Wilson’s speech] really made me think that ethics is something I should be thinking more about,” said Emma Martinson, a marketing: advertising and digital media major.

In addition to the many students present at the announcement, there were numerous faculty and staff members who are looking forward to this new era for business at UNI.

“I think that it means a lot of great opportunities for our students,” said Laura Wilson, assistant director of Career Services. “I’m so excited to have someone that invested in our students here and wanting to give back to the university. I think that it will give more scholarship opportunities for students, maybe more opportunities to do competitions, potentially fund some of those unpaid internships for nonprofits. So lots of great opportunities.”

The Iowa Board of Regents formally approved the naming of the David W. Wilson College of Business at its meeting on the University of Northern Iowa campus in November 2023. It is the first named college at UNI.

“I think it’s going to have a big impact on the students, not only attracting students but also their ability to really impact businesses in the future and having that ethics background and being able to incorporate that into business decisions,” said Cynthia Goro, executive coach, Vistage Worldwide Chair and member of the College of Business executive advisory board.

“It’s a great school,” said Rod Foster, partner of RSM and former Department of Accounting advisory board member. “It was a great school of business before. It’s going to be nothing but better now. ”