Brian Douglas - I am Phil
Who is Phil?

“Phil” is short for philanthropy. We use the nickname “Phil” to refer to anyone who makes a gift to support the university, as well as those who benefit from private support. Philanthropy has such far-reaching impact on campus. Private support touches everyone on this campus. We all are Phil, in one way or another.

Why is Phil (private support) so important?

Philanthropic support from our alumni, friends, faculty and staff helps fund vital initiatives throughout campus that help the University of Iowa and ensure its success. Although the University of Iowa is a proudly public institution, legislative appropriations now provide less than 8 percent of the UI’s total budget; just a decade ago, that figure was 20 percent. State support never will return to previous levels, and we cannot continue asking UI students and families—particularly during difficult economic times—to shoulder increasing tuition rates, even though Iowa remains one of the best values in the Big 10, with a high-quality education at an affordable cost. Only through increased levels of philanthropy can the UI retain its position among the nation’s top universities—and, most important, continue to serve its students and the society they will someday lead.

You can make a gift online through the University of Iowa Center for Advancement and direct your gift to a specific project. Any gift to any area of the university counts! Contact Nicole Evans ( if you have any questions. Thank you very much for your support.

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Susan Assouline
Susan Assouline

Myron and Jacqueline Blank Endowed Chair in Gifted Education
Director, Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development

“I am Phil to make the world a better place.”

Giving has been a part of my cultural upbringing since I was a child. I loved “trick-or-treating” for UNICEF, for example, and have always believed that it’s important to help through both volunteer work and philanthropy. I’ve moved beyond the door-to-door collection of donations to the writing of checks. Whenever I write a check, I know that there will be individuals on the receiving end who will either have their lives enhanced or their pain eased. That has certainly been the case with the philanthropy to the Belin-Blank Center. The lives of children, their teachers, and their families have been enhanced through the generosity of our founders and benefactors. They are an inspiration to all of us, and I aspire to have some impact in the way they have. The word philanthropy is a noun; however, I think of it as a verb, a conscious action. Consciously supporting education means that you intend to do something that matters – that makes a difference. Fundamentally, I believe that we are given skills and ability to make the world a better place; to build something. Philanthropy has allowed me to make the world a better place and, ultimately, it is an honor to be able to be counted among those who build through giving.

Learn more about We Are Phil at the University of Iowa  by visiting the University of Iowa Center for Advancement