A philanthropic nature and devotion to Coe was instilled in Gary Holland '74 and Kathy Thompson Holland '74 long before they went on a blind date at an all-school roller skating party.
"It was modeled to me in my family to give back financially when we could," Kathy said.
Raised in a small farm town in northwest Illinois, Gary was intimidated by the size of Northern Illinois University, the only other college he visited before enrolling at Coe. His mother, Marilyn Martin Holland '50 attended Coe, which planted the seed for him to follow suit.
"I didn't really feel like I needed to look anywhere else," he said.
After growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Kathy visited Coe on the way home from a family trip. She liked Coe's size and her best friend, Linda Wolf Ergang '75, went to Coe, so she enrolled even though her dad got a job in Connecticut and moved the family 18 hours away.
Both economics majors, they developed a strong affection for Economics Professor Bill Spellman. Consequently, the Stead Department of Business Administration & Economics is a favored source of their philanthropy.
In addition to supporting their department, the Hollands are members of the Heritage Club, Coe's planned giving society. They have been regular supporters of numerous Coe campaigns, including Make Your Move - the Campaign for Eby and Hickok, as well as the Coe Fund.
"We are willing to give our money where it is needed most," Kathy said. "We trust the leadership to know what's best."
Their 43-year marriage grew out of a blind date arranged by Gary's Lambda Chi Alpha brothers and Kathy's Chi Omega sisters. The Coe roller skating party was uneventful, "except for the part where I crashed her into the side boards and wiped us both out on a turn," Gary said. Steady dating ensued and they were engaged as Kathy attended two summer sessions to make up the year difference between them at Coe.
"Two weeks after Kathy's summer graduation, we got married," Gary said.
Gary worked in customer service for Chicago-area industries while pursuing his MBA from Roosevelt University. Kathy "pinched pennies" as a stay-at-home mom to three children. Times were lean, but they still supported their alma mater.
In 2003, after oldest son Scott Holland '01 graduated from Coe, they started Holland Safety Equipment selling airflow monitoring products for laboratory use. They've since been able to increase their support for Coe, as well as their church and select mental health organizations.
"We're glad to be able to do it," Kathy said. "For years and years it was pretty low level, and it's been nice for a few years to be able to give back at a more significant level."
All gifts to Coe - regardless of size - are a statement of support to the Coe College mission and financial health of the institution. Each gift enhances the Coe experience and sets the foundation for students to lead successful lives.
Use our secure online form to make a one-time or recurring gift. Contact Coe's Advancement Services Office at 319-399-8542. To give by mail, make your check or money order payable to Coe College and mail to:
Coe College Advancement Services Office
1220 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Coe College alumnus Ossama Abu-Halawa '17 was recently named a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, which is generally considered the most prestigious academic award available to American college graduates. Abu-Halawa was one of 228 finalists from 100 different colleges and universities across the country who reached the final stage of competition. This represents the second consecutive year that a Coe student or recent graduate has been named as a Rhodes finalist.
The Rhodes is the oldest and best known award for international study. Rhodes Scholarships provide all expenses for up to four years of study at the University of Oxford in England.
In Coe history, only four students or alumni have been Rhodes finalists, including Abu-Halawa. Paul Engle '31 in 1933 and Darryl Banks '72 in 1972 both received the award and went on to study at Oxford. Last year, Malika Wilson '17 was a finalist for the scholarship.
Abu-Halawa graduated from Coe in 2017, majoring in chemistry and biochemistry with a minor in religion. He has deferred medical school to study for a master's in philosophy of science at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. After he completes medical school, Abu-Halawa intends to work in research and global health.
During his sophomore year, Abu-Halawa first learned about the Rhodes Scholarship. He was strongly encouraged to apply for the national fellowship award by Provost and Dean of the Faculty Paula O'Loughlin and Banks, a previous Rhodes Scholar.
As Abu-Halawa began the application process last summer, he received guidance from Coe English Professor and National Fellowship Advisor Amber Shaw.
Abu-Halawa was then chosen as a Rhodes finalist, one of just 15 in his region. From the 16 Rhodes regions across the U.S., 32 students were named as Rhodes Scholars.
In Abu-Halawa's case, he and the other finalists from the central region of the country were interviewed by a seven-member panel in Chicago. While there, he had the opportunity to interact with the other finalists, with a majority of them from Ivy League or top-ranked colleges and universities. According to Abu-Halawa, all of the Rhodes finalists were impressive individuals, and the selection of the Rhodes Scholars in his district was not an easy process for the committee. Committee members deliberated for four hours after the interviews to select the two candidates who would win the scholarship.
Abu-Halawa said the Rhodes interview was a fun, rewarding experience, and he is honored to have made it to the finalist stage. It gave him a platform to talk about his passions at a deeper level and demonstrate his abilities to the selection committee members, all of whom are leaders in their fields.
"Coe prepared me well for the interdisciplinary and highly critical nature of the interviews, and although I did not receive the scholarship, I walked out of the interview feeling confident that I displayed the best of my abilities to the committee," said Abu-Halawa. "I am thankful for the professors at Coe who pushed me intellectually and fostered my critical thinking and well-roundedness for the real world."
While the Rhodes process is seemingly daunting at times, Abu-Halawa is encouraging other Coe students to apply for national fellowships.
"There are many resources to take advantage of at Coe College, especially the support of the professors," said Abu-Halawa. "That was the most important part of my education. I highly value my conversations with them, as their insights and recommendations were crucial to my development as a student and citizen. I stand on all of their shoulders, and I will be forever grateful to them."
At Coe, Abu-Halawa was an active member of Coe Student Senate. Among many other co-curricular activities, Abu-Halawa was a member of the Coe Writing Center and the swimming and diving team, and conducted medical research at the University of Iowa and Stanford University. He also studied abroad at the University of Oxford during the last semester of his senior year, and had the opportunity to travel to Thailand to teach English and Swaziland for a global health internship during May Terms at Coe.
Coe College has been awarded a $1.386 million tax credit from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for the recent renovation of Eby Fieldhouse. The Eby project was part of the new Coe Athletics and Recreation Complex, which was completed in August.
The entire $21 million facility—the largest capital project in college history—was designed to ensure that Coe is positioned to serve the next several generations of Kohawks. Moray L. Eby Memorial Fieldhouse, built in 1930 and later named in honor of longtime Coe Professor of Physical Education and Coach Moray Eby, has served as the hub of Kohawk athletics for nearly 90 years. The centerpiece of the Eby renovation was the conversion of the old gymnasium and wrestling area into a multi-purpose court for recreational sports and intercollegiate practices. The facility includes three basketball courts that can be separated by curtains or opened into one large area for throwing, indoor soccer, baseball and softball practices, and countless other activities.
New dedicated locker rooms for football, baseball, women's soccer, men's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming, and men's basketball, along with two visiting team locker rooms, were constructed in the lower level of Eby. In addition, new infrastructure was installed including HVAC, windows, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
"From the beginning of this major capital project, Coe has been committed to preserving and enhancing Eby Fieldhouse, while adding to it with the construction of the new Athletics and Recreation Complex," said Coe President David McInally. "Through this project, our traditional fieldhouse has been completely modernized, while its distinctive historic and architectural features have been retained. We are grateful to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for supporting the preservation of Eby, which will continue to serve the needs of Coe students for decades to come."
Awards totaling $19.7 million were granted for 13 historic preservation projects across the state. Projects are scored based on readiness, financing, and local support and participation. The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has registered these projects to receive these tax credits via the Historic Preservation and Cultural Entertainment District (HPCED) tax credit program.
The IEDA, in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs' (DCA) State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), administers the HPCED program. The program provides a state income tax credit to projects for rehabilitation of historic buildings. The program is designed to promote the retention of unique, character-defining buildings and building features that contribute to a community and neighborhood. Rehabilitation must meet the federal Secretary of Interior standards.
In October 2015, Coe College embarked on the largest capital project in its history, one which will provide unparalleled benefits for future generations of students while creating pride among all Kohawks. Make Your Move - the Campaign for Eby and Hickok - includes $24 million in essential campus enhancements, including the Athletic and Recreation Complex project as well as the renovation and expansion of Hickok Hall. The result is vastly improved academic, recreational, wellness and competition facilities.
By raising $6 million for Make Your Move, the college can receive a generous $3 million grant from the Hall-Perrine Foundation of Cedar Rapids. Thus far, $4.1 million has been contributed to unlock $2.05 million for the college. Now is the time to make your move and make it happen for Coe! Visit www.alumni.coe.edu/makeyourmove today.
Alan Anderson '78, Kevin Buckner '93 and Kristin Strohm '05 were installed earlier this year as the newest members of the Coe Board of Trustees.
Anderson is an avid fisherman and a historian, specializing in 19th and 20th century military history, particularly of Great Britain, the United States and Germany. However, Anderson has spent his career thus far as a trial lawyer, specializing in intellectual property litigation. After being a partner in large, international law firms, Anderson started his own firm over six years ago, and continues his international practice albeit without the hassles associated with large firms. He is a director of a publicly-traded company based in Australia and also serves on the boards of another university and an educational foundation.
Anderson graduated magna cum laude with majors in political science, economics and business administration. He completed an honors thesis in political science and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. He was also a George F. Baker Scholar. After graduation, he attended Cornell University, where he received his M.B.A. (with distinction) and J.D. (magna cum laude), and served as an editor of the Cornell Law Review. Exemplifying the lifelong love of learning a great liberal arts education (as provided by Coe) will instill, within the past eight years Anderson has earned an M.A. in military history, an LL.M. (with distinction) in international dispute resolution, and most recently, his Ph.D. in war studies.
Born and raised in a small town in northeast Iowa, Anderson met his wife of over 35 years at Coe when she, an intended chemistry major, was incorrectly assigned to him, an advisor to business/economics students, to be her freshman mentor. Alan and Ann Luken Anderson '81 have lived in the Twin Cities since 1983.
Buckner is a Chicago native and attended Coe from 1990-93, earning a bachelor's in political science. Upon graduation, he worked as an admission counselor for Coe before entering the public accounting industry. Over the next 20 years, he served in various indirect tax capacities at major global professional services firms including Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Iowa's own McGladrey (now RSM).
Specializing in sales, use, value-added and telecommunications taxes, he has assisted companies worldwide with their tax strategies, including implementing technology solutions and constructing instruments to reduce liabilities and streamline processes.
Strohm is the founder and managing partner of the Starboard Group, a nationally recognized political and non-profit consulting firm in Colorado. The Starboard Group boasts a large portfolio of clients, including Congressional, Senatorial, Presidential, non-profit, national and local policy and ballot initiative campaigns.
Strohm volunteers her time in a range of philanthropic and community endeavors. She is a past board chair and board member of the Women's Bean Project, an organization dedicated to helping lift women out of poverty and unemployment. She serves on the Boy Scouts of America Executive Board of the Denver Area Council, where she is serving as the chairwoman of the fundraising marquee Sports Breakfast, a premier event in Denver which raises nearly $1 million.
She also serves on the newly formed University of Denver Barton Institute Advisory Board, which seeks to address major social issues with new forms of philanthropy, social enterprise, and partnerships among the private, public, nonprofit and academic sectors. Strohm serves on the board of the Strohm-Link Family Foundation and she is part of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Leadership Network's founding class.
At Coe, she founded the Tri Delta Leadership Scholarship and is a former Alumni Council member. She obtained her MBA from the University of Denver. Strohm received the Denver Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award and the Ally Award from the pro-LGTBQ organization One Colorado in recognition of her advocacy for gay rights among Republicans.
The daughter of Life Trustee John Strohm '79, Kristin's aunts, Tara Strohm '79 and Nina Strohm Golden '79, and sister, Kelly Strohm Galbraith '13 and her husband Reid Galbraith '13, are all graduates of Coe. Kristin is married to Josh Penry and they make their home in Greenwood Village, Colorado, with their four children.
Coe College was recently recognized at the 2017 Business 380 Excellence Awards ceremony, hosted by The Gazette. The awards banquet included recognition of several Creative Corridor business and community organizations, with categories related to industry, public-private partnerships and overall excellence.
Coe was presented with an award of excellence in the commercial real estate category, in recognition of the college's new and renovated facilities. These included the Hickok Hall and Athletics and Recreation Complex projects, all part of the $24 million Make Your Move campaign. These major capital investments, coupled with other improvements in the near-northeast area of the city, are helping to enhance the overall appearance of the College District.
In addition, the award was given in recognition of Coe's active participation in the College District Planning Process and the college's commitment to working with other organizations to improve the neighborhood. The Uptown District and Mount Mercy University were also recognized during the awards ceremony for their contributions to the betterment of the College District.
"We are pleased to receive this recognition for our efforts to enhance the Coe campus and our neighborhood," said Coe President David McInally. "Over the past few years, Coe and other organizations have made significant investments to advance our area of the city. We are committed to continuing to work closely with other stakeholders to help improve the overall attractiveness and quality of life in the College District."
Coe College students Tirzah Gaul '20, Briana Gipson '19 and Constance Schlitter '20 were three of 25 college students from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin who were selected for the 2018 class of the Principal Community Scholars Program. The recipients were selected by Iowa Campus Compact after being nominated by faculty or staff from their college or university and a rigorous review process.
The program is designed to encourage student leadership to meet community needs. Selected students will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Principal upon completion of a service project. This is the second year of the program, which last year supported 20 students in Iowa and California.
"This year we decided to focus on students in the Midwest and got a strong pool of nominations," said Iowa Campus Compact Executive Director Emily Shields. "These students have a deep commitment to bringing business solutions to meet community issues."
This year's scholars proposed projects designed to engage their peers and their institutions. These projects tap into a variety of skills that can be offered by college students and will impact causes ranging from education to neighborhood vitality through research, fundraising, communications and other means.
Listed below are descriptions of the projects undertaken by Coe students and the great strides they are making to better the Cedar Rapids community.
Gaul is creating a student-led program for first-generation college students that will allow them to talk about the advantages and disadvantages, learn from students and faculty, and let them know that they are not alone, while approaching first-generation status through a positive lens.
Gipson will conduct an action research project. First, she will research existing financial literacy curriculum for African American households and women of color, and strategies for implementing financial education on college campuses. Next, she will create and implement a pilot curriculum with students on campus. Finally, she will assess the results and make recommendations and/or changes to the curriculum.
While Gipson's short-term goal is to provide financial education to her peers, her long-term goal is for the curriculum to be transferrable to the broader community, and ultimately to inspire financial freedom and economic justice for women of color. Her inspiration came from a research study she conducted with a faculty advisor exploring mortgage lending in Cedar Rapids. After learning black women were significantly less likely to be approved for mortgage loans, she became interested in financial education that addresses the unique experiences of people of color.
Schlitter is currently working on an Enactus project that assists the Catherine McAuley Center in Cedar Rapids. The project is focused on creating a model that will be sustainable in assisting students of the center to obtain job skills.
There are a few main goals of the project. The team is going to be pairing with the Coe International Club so that students can create a resume template in multiple languages that align with those most commonly needed at the Catherine McAuley Center, so that those served by the center can begin to understand what a resume is. Then, Enactus members will host workshops to teach participants how to create professional resumes. Working with the Coe Center for Creativity and Careers, the Enactus team will then host mock interviews. Overall, the focus this semester is to expose those served by the Catherine McAuley Center to common requirements of obtaining a job in the American workplace.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of over 1,000 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. The network is comprised of a national office and 34 state and regional affiliates.
As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact enables campuses to develop students' citizenship skills and forge effective community partnerships. The organization's resources support faculty and staff as they pursue community-based teaching and scholarship in the service of positive change.
Coe was well represented at the fifth annual Celebration of Community on Nov. 15 as the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation highlighted good people doing good work at nonprofits in Linn County. Nearly 300 philanthropists, nonprofit representatives, and community members gathered at NewBo City Market to celebrate the good that happens when philanthropy, nonprofit organizations and passionate people come together.
Tara Richards '10, director of community engagement at Brucemore, received the Minnie Rubek Staff Excellence Award.
From being the central liaison with cultural partner organizations, evaluating each program's financial and audience performance, running the box office, directing traffic, supervising volunteers, and everything in between, Richards seeks a positive visitor experience for each one of the over 45,000 people who visit Brucemore each year. She is at the heart of Brucemore's 36 cultural performances, 10 months of tours, and various community events.
Richards began at Brucemore as an intern from Coe and earned a full-time position the following year. Originally serving as the marketing and program director, she showed great potential and an endless amount of energy. She dove directly into an elaborate web of unique programs and quickly became the expert with a laser focus. She built relationships with nonprofit cultural organizations and corporate businesses as well as contractors, vendors, lighting designers and more, striving to keep the economic impact of events local to Eastern Iowa.
In her current role. Richards is not only responsible for all events, tours, and programs, but also covers human resources and a tourism-centered retail store. All of these functions have the added challenge of taking place at Brucemore, the setting of seven historic structures, 26 acres and thousands of artifacts and works of art. The events and programs that Richards and her team execute each year must work within the framework of a private, historic "home," rather than a purposefully built performance venue. Her great sensitivity to historic preservation is invaluable to making sure this irreplaceable place continues to make an impact on the community for generations to come.
Richards has a never-ending enthusiasm to explore new audiences and partners to expand Brucemore's impact. During her tenure, the number of visitors to the estate has risen by more than 40 percent, as well as drawn people from across the county and around the world. Constantly behind-the-scenes, she promotes, manages and serves as a resource, at times seven days a week. She is the driver behind every experience for every visitor to the estate though many may never meet her. The Cedar Rapids community and Eastern Iowa area is stronger through her creative management and dedication to creating unforgettable experiences.
Over 30 people - including three Coe alumni and a current student -- were recognized for their contributions to Linn County nonprofits through a "Good Work & Good People" display. They are volunteers, donors or nonprofit professionals that are making a positive impact by being involved and giving back to our community in a variety of ways.
Among the honorees was Timothy Salis '15, an overnight volunteer at the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter since 2015. In his role, he handles various tasks such as allowing clients in and out of the shelter, providing hygiene products, distributing blankets, and providing a sense of security.
"Tim has earned this honor by being a frequent volunteer at our shelter, doing multiple overnight shifts every month for over a year," said fellow Kohawk and Willis Dady Outreach and Marketing Coordinator Ashley Glassberg '16. "He has had a lasting and positive impact on our organization, and this is a truly well-deserved honor."
Coe partnered with Willis Dady in 2014 to cover 100 overnight shifts at the shelter each year. Coe President David McInally serves on the Willis Dady board of directors.
The shelter has served thousands of homeless single men and families since opening in 1987. The organization provides about 8,000 nights of shelter per year, which is roughly 25 percent of nights of shelter provided in Linn County. Further, Willis Dady serves nearly 400 single men and families living in or relocating to Cedar Rapids and/or Linn County each year. All services are provided free of charge.
Amanda Ott Pins '01 was honored for her service on the Alzheimer's Association Leadership Board. She chairs the Walk to End Alzheimer's and organizes a Bikes Behind Brains event. She also assists impacted families directly by leading a caregiver support group.
Jill Gleason Sindt '90 has been the associate director of The Heritage Area Agency on Aging for 15 years. In addition to being a part of administration, she is also a working manager and oversees the coordination of several programs that improve the health of older adults.
Hassan Selim '19 is the Imam, or religious leader, of the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids. He is a public servant and uses his position to bring the Muslim community together and to be involved in the broader community. His honesty, commitment to fairness, and overall kind nature has earned him trust and respect from all those with whom he serves.
Dedication of the college's new Athletics and Recreation Complex is the cover story for the upcoming fall issue of the Courier. Hailed as a "game-changer" by President David McInally, the complex was publicly unveiled Oct. 13.
The issue also includes:
Visit the Courier online at www.coe.edu/courier.
Coe College is especially memorable this time of year, as students prepare for finals and winter break approaches. As the calendar turns to December, please consider supporting Coe as part of your charitable giving plans this year. Your generosity will continue the Coe tradition of excellence in education and wonderful campus experiences for current and future Kohawks. Click here to support Coe this calendar year.
If you are able, consider following in the footsteps of Daniel Coe, by joining the 1851 Society. Daniel Coe's generosity founded our beloved college with the instruction that the school educate both men and women, a revolutionary and groundbreaking idea during the mid-19th century. To join this newly renamed society, please make your gift in honor of our founding year.
Christmas will be celebrated at Coe College's annual Christmas Convocation and Christmas Vespers on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Both events will feature the Coe College Chorale and other musical ensembles. The Christmas Convocation will begin at 11 a.m., with a repeat program held as Christmas Vespers at 7:30 p.m., both in Sinclair Auditorium. The celebrations are free and open to the public, with a Wassail reception following each service.
The Coe Chorale, directed by Assistant Professor of Music Loralee Songer, will perform traditional anthems and special Christmas music during the programs. Conducted by MacMillan Assistant Professor of Piano Brett Wolgast, the Coe Handbell Ensemble will also perform. Wolgast will be accompanying the services on the organ, and many Coe students will be featured with vocal and instrumental solos.
The services follow the grand British Lessons and Carols tradition and are patterned after that of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, England. In the services, hymns and carols are used in place of psalms and canticles. Through the message of the scriptures and verses of the carols and anthems, participants are given a beautiful perspective on the meaning of the Christmas season.
Both the Christmas Convocation and the Christmas Vespers will include the story of Jesus' birth presented in lessons read throughout the presentation by Coe College Chaplain Melea White, as well as students, faculty and staff members. Audience members will be invited to join in singing several of the Christmas hymns and carols, including the traditional favorites.
The Coe College Music Department, Office of the Chaplain and Office of the President are co-sponsoring the services. For more information, please call 319-399-8605.