Skip Sub Menu

Pappajohn's Impact

It is with sadness that the Drake University Pappajohn Center for Outreach shares news of the passing of John Pappajohn, a true exemplar of the power of philanthropy, education, and business. Mr. Pappajohn leaves behind a tremendous legacy for the state of Iowa, from his profound impact on entrepreneurism to the generosity with which he and his late wife, Mary, made the arts more accessible for all of us. 

We are filled with gratitude for the imprint Mr. Papajohn left on our campus, students, and community through the establishment of the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship Outreach in 1998. Mr. Pappajohn had a four-decade philanthropic relationship with Drake, primarily centered around business and entrepreneurship education, but that also extended to major gifts to the Harkin Institute and the construction of the Harkin Center. 

Bill Adamowski, executive director of innovation, entrepreneurship, and human-centered design in the Zimpleman College of Business, spoke to the impact that Mr. Pappajohn has had on entrepreneurial education at Drake. “Drake’s Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship Outreach which houses our business clinic and accelerator has cultivated some of the most exciting and innovative entrepreneurs and businesses in the state, all made possible by Mr. Pappajohn’s vision and commitment. In the past twenty-five years, venture competitions open to students and the public have kickstarted dozens of businesses in Central Iowa and beyond.” 

Drake University and the staff of the Pappajohn Center are filled with gratitude for John and Mary Pappajohn. We, along with many others, will carry their commitment to the arts, education, and entrepreneurship far into the future. 

Zimpleman News