Don Heineking

Iowa City, Iowa

Don Heineking’s extraordinary generosity means that scores of talented, hardworking student-athletes can reach for success at Iowa—in the classroom and on the field, course, pool, mat, court, track, and diamond. 

Heineking, of Iowa City, gave $1 million outright in 2002 and recently updated his estate plans to gift another $1 million to the University of Iowa Foundation to establish 11 Donald W. and Marilyn Heineking Scholarships for UI student-athletes.

The Heinekings’ gifts established endowed student-athlete scholarships for Iowa Hawkeye football, women’s basketball, wrestling, softball, baseball, volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s track and field, men’s golf, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving, as well as one scholarship for a student manager on the men’s basketball squad.

Former UI Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Robert A. Bowlsby, at the time of the Heinkeing’s first gift, said the gift was unique in its scope and offered crucial stability to the entire athletics program. He pointed out that when the UI athletics department offers full scholarships to student-athletes, the tuition and other associated costs, such as room and board, books, and fees, are paid in full by the department to the UI.

“Scholarships are by far the single largest expense the department incurs, and the costs increase annually,” Bowlsby said. “So to have these scholarships endowed is an extraordinary asset. Don Heineking has given to generations of UI student-athletes, both men and women in a wide variety of programs, the opportunity to earn a UI education and compete for the Hawkeyes. We couldn’t be more grateful for his generosity.”

Larry Wieczorek, retired Director of Track and Field, echoed Bowlsby’s gratitude. “Don Heineking’s gift is a wonderful vote of confidence in our program and Olympic sports at Iowa,” Wieczorek said.

Heineking, who graduated from the UI in 1958 with a B.S.C. degree in commerce and science, said he was motivated to establish the scholarships by his respect for the UI athletics program and the student-athletes who participate in it.

“Everyone involved with UI athletics does a great job,” Heineking said. “The student-athletes are some of the finest young people I’ve ever met. They’re polite, articulate and energetic, and they reflect the values and integrity of the Hawkeye athletics program. It takes a lot of discipline for any student to get through college in good standing, and for student-athletes to do so with the demands placed on them is remarkable. I’m very pleased to help them and the Iowa athletics program.”

“Don continues to be a bedrock of support for Iowa Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Gary Barta. “His most recent gift adds to an already generous legacy of scholarship support, and we are very proud and honored to call him a friend.”

Heineking is a native of rural Latimer, Iowa. He and Marilyn Sorensen, also of Latimer, married in 1957, while he was a UI student. After graduating from the UI, Heineking served in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps and also served in the Army Reserve, retiring as a captain. At the age of 26, in 1962, he purchased a controlling interest in Security State Bank in Hubbard, Iowa.

Don has served on the board of directors of the University of Iowa Foundation, the Johnson County I-Club, the National I-Club, and the Iowa Scholarship Fund.

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