Gift from Graduate to SAU
Inspired by one of his teachers, a graduate of St. Ambrose University has decided to return the favor. Wednesday John Butler announced a gift of 2.5 million dollars to his alma mater.
A native of Muscatine, and a member of the class of 1971, Butler says History Professor Agnes Renner was not just a great teacher, but took a personal interest in him - encouraging him to "study hard, work hard, aim high, and try."
"You know you look back and you think about places and people who have had a major influence on you, and where you may not have gone if it weren't for them - she is clearly one of those."
Butler went on to a career in Washington - with Iowa Congressman Jim Leach, the Treasury Department, Federal Home Loan Bank Board, and National Credit Union Administration.
The gift from him and his wife will endow a chair in the history department - paying the salary and benefits of a history faculty member, and allowing them time off from teaching for research.
"I was only one of the many students she educated and influenced over her quarter century of dedication to St. Ambrose. It is truly fitting and deserving for an academic chair in the history department to be named for her."
Agnes Renner joined the faculty at St. Ambrose in 1946, and taught there until her death in 1973. University President Sister Joan Lescinski says "there's no greater vote of confidence for a university than the generosity of its alumni."