Monday, November 19, 2007

New Foundation board chairman works from ‘great love’ of UI

SigEps know about serving and giving back to their institutions.
Bob Verhille has a long history with the University of Iowa.

In 1955, with the aim of joining his father’s insurance agency in Ottumwa, he graduated from UI with a Bachelor of Science and commerce degree in business. After moving the agency to Marion in 1960 following his father’s death, he kept in touch with the university, helping to choose the new head of the UI business school’s insurance department in the early 1960s. Later, the part-time Solon resident worked to raise money for the UI education center in Cedar Rapids, established a nursing scholarship in memory of his late wife, Betty, and in 2000, was a vice chairman of the university’s $1 billion “Good, Better, Best” fundraising campaign.

This month, after 16 years as a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Iowa Foundation, Verhille was selected as its new chairman, succeeding Charles Kierscht of Hinsdale, Ill.

“I have a great love of the university, a great respect,” Verhille, 73, said. “(Being chairman) isn’t something you aspire to. I’m of course pleased to do it.”

Growing up in Ottumwa, Verhille saw right away that being in the insurance business would be a good fit for him and his future family. Graduating in a class of 14 students from Catholic Central High School there in 1951, he moved to UI, which he called a “natural choice” to attend. He soon became active on campus, pledging with the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, a group he became president of during his junior year in 1954.
If Doug Scheibe dosn't already have him on speed-dial he is missing a bet.

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