Mike and Susan Frantz

Northbrook, IL

Mike Frantz, an Iowa City native, 1977 UI finance and marketing graduate, and former Hawkeye football player, has made his mark in the business world as an entrepreneur and real estate investor. Mike and his wife, Susan, live in Susan’s hometown of Northbrook, Illinois, while they (along with multiple members of the Frantz family and their company, Network Growth Management) own and manage more than $75 million in commercial real estate across eastern Iowa.

“Our business involves the whole family,” Mike says. “It keeps me close to my family as well as strongly connected with Iowa City and my alma mater.”

Mike and Susan decided to pay tribute to those deep connections—and acknowledge the important role the UI has played in their life together—by making a gift of $300,000 to the University, divided equally among Iowa football, the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business, and UI Children’s Hospital.

These three areas may seem like they don’t relate, but they are all tied together by their importance to the Frantz family.

“As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized just how deeply college shaped me – not just my career, but my personality as well,” Mike explains.

He credits the Iowa football program with teaching him important lessons about teamwork, loyalty, and leadership while the business school helped him learn to think abstractly and creatively about doing business in the real world.

With their gift, the Frantzes also pay tribute to important family members. Mike’s mother, Joan, of Iowa City, who is named in the Joan A. Frantz Fund to support pediatric oncology research, is a breast cancer survivor who not only was treated for cancer at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics but also worked for years as a nurse in the UI Department of Pediatrics. Mike’s father, Jack, who lost his battle with cancer in 1997, is named in the Jack A. Frantz Excellence Fund for Real Estate in the Tippie College of Business.

Susan, a Drake University graduate, says, “Being a member of the Frantz family means being a member of the University of Iowa family. When we realized we are in a position to give back, the UI was at the top of our list.”

Mike agrees. “The UI Foundation made it easy to match our giving with UI programs that are meaningful to us. It has been a wonderful experience.”

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