Founders' Medal Recipient
William Whipple '35

During his days at Coe, he was honored to have been elected a member of Sachem, Senior Men's Honorary Society and Pi Kappa Delta. He was a member of the track team and a member of the Coe College Athletic Hall of Fame. He was a lifetime trustee of the college and served as chairman of the board for three years. Bill received Coe’s Alumni Award of Merit in 1990, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities in 1996, and he was given Coe’s highest honor, The Founders’ Medal, in 2001.

Upon the death of his father in 1935, Bill continued the family insurance business and remained in the field for 40 years. At the time of retirement, he was chairman of Frank B. Hall of Iowa. In 1974, he became associated with the Hall-Perrine Foundation, serving as executive director. He continued to serve the Foundation as president and, later, chairman of the board.

During Bill’s career he served on numerous boards. Among those were the American Federal Savings & Loan, the Nissen Corporation, Inter-Ocean Reinsurance Company, Banks of Iowa Inc., Mid America Mutual Fund and American Insurance and Industrial Fund. He also served on the boards of The Fire Mark Circle of the Americans, The Iowa Association of Insurance Agents and the B.L. Wick Foundation.

His leadership was essential as a founding member of The Meth-Wick Community. He served on the boards of the Cedar Rapids Library, Cedar Rapids Marion Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross and the Greater Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Y.M.C.A.

As acknowledgment of his service to the community, he was the recipient of many awards which included the John M. Ely Sr. Outstanding Layman Award, The Community Recognitions Award from the Cedar Rapids Marion Chamber of Commerce, and the first annual community service award given by the Downtown Rotary.

Bill and his wife, Gayle Schroeder Whipple ’36, were among the founding members of the Heritage Club, a recognition society established to honor donors who make planned gifts to Coe. They established The Whipple Prize in Political Science, The Whipple Speech Prize, and The Whipple Scholarship Endowment for Minority Students. Bill and Gayle crowned their many gifts to Coe by establishing The William P. Whipple and Gayle Schroeder Whipple Endowed Chair in the Humanities.

In 2014, Coe dedicated the Whipple Fire House, a former Cedar Rapids fire station obtained by the college and renovated into a new residence hall. The facility is named in honor of Bill, a longtime friend of Coe and the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, which named him an honorary firefighter in 2002.

William Whipple '35