William I. Moon, III
As an Iowa entrepreneur whose business caters to 20 million customers a year, Will Moon has a straightforward philosophy that has consistently yielded success.
“Two of the guiding principles in our business are: you only have one chance to make a first impression; and, in a competitive marketplace, you must have quality people equipped with the tools they need to succeed.”
This philosophy also has guided Moon’s philanthropy for the University of Iowa.
“The projects I have supported—the Kinnick Stadium renovation, the Carver-Hawkeye Arena practice facility, and the new Football Operations Center—have helped the university make a great first impression with potential recruits, as well as fans,” says Moon. “More importantly, these projects will give our coaches and student-athletes the tools necessary to put the best possible teams on the courts and fields.”
“At Iowa, we’re very fortunate to have engaged fans and donors like Will Moon,” says University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta. “Through his involvement in the I-Club and other activities, Will has gained an understanding of the critical role that private support plays in ensuring our Hawkeye student-athletes and coaches have what they need to compete at a high level for many years to come.”
Along with his sister, Delia Moon Meier, Will Moon owns and operates the Iowa 80 Truck Stop off Interstate 80 exit 284 in Walcott, Iowa. Literally millions of truckers and travelers likely know it as “The World’s Largest Truck Stop.” It’s a name that befits the landmark—which is as much a destination as a stopover—occupying 85 developed acres and employing 500 people. For UI students and alumni coming to Iowa City from the east on I-80, the Iowa 80 Truck Stop, with its glowing sign and a gift shop featuring a selection of Hawkeye souvenirs, is a marker that they’re close to “home”.
Moon, who received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa in 1983, admits he drifted away from the university after graduation while he built his business. But membership in the I-Club helped reestablish Moon’s connection to Iowa and provided him with some insight to the university’s need for private support.
“I-Club meetings, where we heard from Iowa coaches and administrators, really started to open my eyes to what it takes to field a quality athletics program in the Big Ten Conference,” says Moon.
Moon has some advice for other UI alums who have lost their connection to Iowa and want to re-establish it.
“I’d recommend starting small. Join the I-Club. Give annually to a fund. Join the UI Alumni Association. These activities will make it easier to keep up with what is going on at the UI. Sooner or later you’ll see a project that has some special meaning to you; there are so many needs that are waiting to be filled. When you find that special project, contact the UI Foundation to learn more about it.”