Distinguished Alumni Awards

Each year since 1963, the University of Iowa Alumni Association has presented accomplished alumni and friends with the association's highest honor—the Distinguished Alumni Award. To best recognize individuals selected for service or for achievement, awards are presented in six categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty/Staff, Young Alumni, and Friend of the University.

2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

"The 2015 awardees are exemplary representatives of the University of Iowa," says Jeff Kueter, UIAA president and CEO. "They are accomplished professionals, community leaders, philanthropists, and mentors to students and young professionals."

Tom Kloet

Tom Kloet, of Bluffton, South Carolina, graduated from the UI in 1980 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting. In his 30-year international business career since then, Kloet—currently CEO of the organization that operates the Toronto, Montreal, and other major stock exchanges, as well as vice chairman of the World Federation of Exchanges—has helped steer a vital financial industry through technological advances and tumultuous times.

Diane Magrane

Diane Magrane, of Potomac, Maryland, graduated from the UI with a B.A. degree in zoology in 1974 and a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1978. A renowned visionary in the areas of women’s health and academic medicine, Magrane now heads the International Center for Executive Leadership in Academics at Drexel University, which nurtures rising women leaders to take the reins in traditionally male-dominated fields such as health sciences and engineering.

Leslie Jansa Williams

Leslie Jansa Williams, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the UI in 1982. Now president and CEO of the ImmusanT biotechnology company, Williams has earned international acclaim in a career that has taken her from patients’ bedsides to research labs, where she oversees the development of technological breakthroughs capable of radically improving human lives.

Robert Downer
Jane A. Downer

Robert Downer, who graduated from the UI with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1961 and a Juris Doctorate in 1963, and Jane A. Downer, both of Iowa City, are longtime advocates and friends of the University of Iowa. Robert currently champions the cause of public education through his service on the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, as well as the advisory boards for UI Hospitals and Clinics and the UI Research Foundation. A loyal and active supporter of Hancher, Jane is also co-chair of the university’s Arts and Minds campaign to raise $30 million to help rebuild the arts campus.

Mary Kramer

Mary Kramer, of Clive, Iowa, earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the UI in 1957 and a master’s degree in elementary education in 1972. Throughout her career in education, human resources, and politics, Kramer—the former U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and an inductee of the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame—has served the University of Iowa, the state, and the nation with distinction, passion, and a commitment to the "common good."

Sarah Dunkerton Lande

Sarah Dunkerton Lande, of Muscatine, Iowa, graduated from the UI with a B.A. in home economics in 1960 and an M.B.A. in 1983. The retired executive director of the Iowa Sister States organization, Lande is widely admired as a citizen diplomat who has advanced Iowa’s world citizenship and reputation around the globe, particularly with the People’s Republic of China.

Dana C. Ramundt

Dana C. Ramundt, of Clive, Iowa, earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in insurance from the UI in 1974. Ramundt was instrumental in establishing the Vaughan Institute of Risk Management and Insurance in the UI Tippie College of Business, enabling hundreds of students to follow him into a successful business career while also providing critical support to one of Iowa’s important industries.

Jay Sieleman

Jay Sieleman, of Memphis, Tennessee, graduated from the UI with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1975 and a Juris Doctorate in 1978. Within a few years of becoming director of administration for The Blues Foundation in Memphis, Sieleman almost single-handedly changed the fortunes of this struggling nonprofit, ensuring that it continues to preserve and celebrate a uniquely American musical art form.

Sally Mathis Hartwig

Sally Mathis Hartwig, of Iowa City, earned two nursing degrees from the UI: a Bachelor’s of Science in 1975 and an M.A. in 1977. As longtime director of nursing at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Hartwig inspired colleagues with her dedication to professional education and patient care—furthering the Department of Nursing’s reputation for excellence that has been underscored by two prestigious Magnet Recognition Program designations.

Tim J. Dwight Jr.

Tim J. Dwight Jr. graduated from the UI in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in sport, health, leisure, and physical studies. Following a successful career in the NFL, Dwight has demonstrated passion and commitment as an emerging entrepreneur of green technology and renewable energy, as well as a dedicated supporter of UI, community, and charitable causes.

William M. “Bill� Lynch
Matt Tucker

William M. “Bill” Lynch, of Portland, Oregon, and Matt Tucker, of Palo Alto, California, both graduated from the UI in 2000 with Bachelor of Science degrees in computer science. While studying at the UI, Lynch and Tucker conceived the idea of Jive Software to help improve communications within large companies. Just 11 years later, their small start-up went public with a value of about $900 million and a client roster that includes some of the top corporations in America.

Jim Leach

During 30 years of service in the U.S. Congress, Jim Leach, of Iowa City, worked tirelessly to advance critical education initiatives. So it was fitting that, in 2013, he furthered his longstanding friendship with the UI by becoming a faculty member in the College of Law, where students benefit from his expertise in international affairs, American government, and the legislative process.

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