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.

2017 Award recipients


Stephen E. Corbeil, 84MA

Stephen Corbeil, who has led health care organizations around the U.S. for more than 25 years, is currently the president of TriStar Health, a division of HCA comprised of 22 hospitals in the Southeast. He remains a generous supporter of the UI College of Public Health, where he's established a fellowship fund for deserving Master of Health Administration students. Corbeil also mentors students and summer interns, and he served on the UI Department of Health Management and Policy board for 12 years.

Phil Currie, 62BA

Phil Currie's exemplary 40-year journalism career had many high-water marks, including leading the Rochester Times-Union to a Pulitzer Prize in 1971 and serving as senior vice president at Gannett before his retirement in 2008. For many years, Currie has served on the UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication's professional Advisory Board and has funded a student scholarship for the school.

Rosebud Roberts, 90MS

As a professor of epidemiology and neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rosebud Roberts has established herself as an outstanding investigator in the fields of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, conducting important research that has increased understanding of the risk factors and could improve quality of life for the millions impacted worldwide.

Margaret "Peg" Stessman, 84BSN, 12MBA

An entrepreneur, civic leader, and member of the Tippie College of Business Advisory Board, Margaret "Peg" Stessman has achieved business success as CEO and board chairman of StrategicHealthSolutions, which helps states prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid programs.


Kevin Gruneich, 80BBA

Kevin Gruneich has paved the way for hundreds of first-generation college students to attend the UI through his support of the Iowa Edge program and the Opportunity at Iowa scholarship fund. After a long career on Wall Street, where he was one of the world's top publishing analysts, Gruneich now serves as a director on the UI Foundation board.

James P. Hayes, 64JD

Jim Hayes is a highly regarded attorney who has devoted his talents to promoting the UI arts and humanities—most notably through his efforts to improve the understanding and support of Grant Wood's life and art. Hayes has not only developed the Grant Wood Art Colony program, but has also promised the gift of his home (Grant Wood's former residence) at 1142 E. Court St.

Phil Mayberry, 67BSIE

Recently retired as vice president of sales-marquee accounts at Emerson Process Management in Marshalltown, Iowa, Phil Mayberry has shown support for the University of Iowa through his leadership as president of the Marshall County I-Club and as a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board and UI Alumni Association and National I-Club boards of directors.

Thomas J. Wickham, 90BA, 94JD

As Parliamentarian of the U.S. House of Representatives, Thomas Wickham stands at the right hand of the presiding Congressional officer and guides members on procedural matters and precedent. Appointed in 2012 by then-House Speaker John Boehner, Wickham is just the fifth person to hold the nonpartisan post since it was established in 1927.


Dan Gable

A preeminent ambassador for the UI and the sport of wrestling, Olympic gold medalist Dan Gable led the Hawkeyes to unparalleled success that included 15 NCAA team championships and 21 conference titles over his 21 seasons as head coach.

Nancy Hauserman, 76JD

For more than 30 years, retired UI professor, associate dean, and ombudsman Nancy Hauserman has made significant contributions to the university community, including through the development and growth of Tippie College of Business programs such as the Hawkinson Institute for Business Finance, the Tippie Early Admission Program, the Tippie Senate, the Frank Business Communication Center, and the Tippie Young Alumni Board.

Nancy Humbles, 97MA

Nancy Humbles fostered student success at UI for 25 years, including founding the Center for Diversity and Enrichment, where she was the director from 2007 to 2015. A dedicated community volunteer, Humbles is a school board member in Cedar Rapids, the vice president for the Area Substance Abuse Council, and a coordinator for local NAACP celebrations.

V.C. Patel

V.C. Patel has served as an expert mentor and leader at the UI College of Engineering at critical junctures in the institution's history. Over the course of four decades, the former departmental executive officer of mechanical engineering, director of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, director of the Center for Computer Aided Design, and chair of the Engineering Faculty Council has brought the UI global distinction in the fields of hydraulics and computer simulation.

Doug True, 71BS

Doug True spent 27 years in service to the University of Iowa, first appointed treasurer in 1988 and later senior vice president in 1991. During his exceptional career, True played a crucial role in managing the university's finances and is widely admired for his leadership in helping rebuild campus after the devastating 2008 flood.

Young Alumni

Steven Davis, 01BS, 03MS

In 2003, Steven Davis co-founded Bio::Neos, a Coralville-based genetics software startup where he's the president and CEO. Davis continues to give back to his alma mater, serving as a mentor for young entrepreneurs, providing internship and training opportunities for engineering students, and leading the Hawkeye Endurance Athletic Team.

Friend of the University

Vince Nelson

Vince Nelson energized the UI Alumni Association with hard work, humor, and loyalty for 26 years, particularly as the organization's executive director from 1997 until his retirement in 2014. In this capacity, he ensured that the UIAA was regarded as a trusted friend and valuable partner by UI administration, the UI Foundation, athletics, and many other campus constituencies.