What started as a random introduction to the Iowa women’s basketball team morphed into a generous gift that will benefit that program in perpetuity.
Doug Schnoebelen didn’t know anything about the Iowa women’s basketball team when he shared a table with former student-athletes Lindsey Nyenhuis and Kristi Smith at a fast food restaurant years ago. A pleasant introduction ended with the women asking Doug to attend an Iowa women’s basketball game. A couple years later, Doug finally made his way to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. He’s been a loyal season ticket holder ever since.
In 2010, another random introduction took place – this time between Sloane Tyler, Director of Development for Athletics at the UI Foundation, and Doug at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. A conversation about the team, and a request to join the I-Club turned into a relationship that had Doug considering a significant gift to impact Iowa women’s basketball.
Doug eventually made the generous decision to allocate $50,000 from his retirement assets to the UI Foundation to establish an athletics scholarship. Doug feels that “everyone should try to give back – to impact other people in a positive way. Life has been good to me, and I was excited to make this gift.”
A year passed and Doug’s relationship with the basketball team, some of the student-athlete parents and other season ticket holders grew. Doug was now traveling to away games, continuing to attend the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament games, and supporting the team at Carver. At this point, he moved forward with the allocation of another $150,000 from his estate, designating his scholarship specifically to women’s basketball.
“Everyone on the women’s basketball team is a kid that you would be proud to call your own. I appreciate their skill level, of course, but I feel most proud of them as people. My season ticket location allows me to observe opposing teams and fans. Some of them are just great. Others make me appreciate the way Iowa runs its program. It has really given me an appreciation of our student-athletes.”
Doug started his career at William S. Merrell. Nine mergers and acquisitions later, he retired from Sanofi-Aventis, in pharmaceutical sales. Born and raised in Lone Tree, Iowa, he now resides “on the river” in Wapello. His ties to Iowa started when he was eight years old serving as an usher at Hawkeye football games. He went on to attend football games at Iowa for 44 consecutive seasons. However, he now calls Iowa women’s basketball his favorite Hawkeye program.
Doug says that he is probably not done yet, but he’s made one more revision to his scholarship gift. This fall, he decided to fund part of his endowed scholarship now, making a $50,000 cash gift. The Douglas D. Schnoebelen Women’s Basketball Scholarship will be
awarded next year. He will fund the balance of his Leadership level ($200,000+) scholarship with his estate gift.
“Iowa women’s basketball is a quality program, full of quality people top to bottom. That is why I give.”