Mary Joy and Jerre Stead

Mary Joy and Jerre Stead are former Maquoketa, Iowa, residents, and both are University of Iowa graduates.

A second $10 million gift commitment from former Maquoketa, Iowa, residents Jerre and Mary Joy Stead to improve children's medicine at the University of Iowa was announced today.

The multifaceted gift from the Steads, now of Scottsdale, Ariz., will create four new faculty chairs and establish funds to support innovation and leadership development, according to a news release.

In recognition of the Steads’ total $20 million philanthropy to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the U of I Department of Pediatrics, the department will be named the University of Iowa Stead Family Department of Pediatrics.

"Mary Joy and Jerre’s support through the years has benefited every aspect of the care our UI Children's Hospital staff has provided and has bolstered the research and teaching being done within our Department of Pediatrics," said Dr. Jean Robillard, the UI vice president for medical affairs. "This newest commitment to UI Health Care will allow our children’s medicine program to continue to provide the level of excellence that Iowans, and those beyond our borders, have come to expect."

Their gift is an extension of a long-held belief in the power of UI Health Care, Mary Joy Stead says.

"Having spent so much of our lives in Iowa, we’ve always understood the quality of UI Health Care, and we were fortunate to see that firsthand when our sons were born in UI Hospitals and Clinics," added Stead, who attended the university and has served on the University of Iowa Foundation's board of directors since 1999. "Jerre and I have always felt privileged to be in a position to commit our support to help advance health care and research at UI Children's Hospital and the pediatrics department. We believe in the power of children’s medicine at Iowa, and this new commitment is an extension of that belief."

Jerre Stead, who received his bachelor's degree in business from the university in 1965, has had a long career leading high-tech and information companies. He serves as executive chairman of IHS Inc., a leading provider of critical information, insight and analytics worldwide.

"We believe the people of UI Health Care — outstanding doctors, nurses, staff, and researchers — are what set Iowa apart in children’s medicine,” he said. “The teaching, research and patient care in the UI Department of Pediatrics are such valuable resources for so many. Mary Joy and I have always been dedicated to helping to provide them with the resources they need to continue to so positively impact people throughout Iowa and beyond.”

The Steads are co-chairs of Iowa First: Our Campaign for Breakthrough Medicine — UI Health Care’s $500 million campaign for private support that was launched in 2011 and will celebrate its conclusion in the spring. The $10 million gift commitment from the Steads brings the campaign total to $505 million to date. The Steads’ previous support of Iowa First includes a gift commitment of $10 million in 2011 — also to the UI Children’s Hospital and the UI Department of Pediatrics — to create endowed faculty positions, support research and staff excellence initiatives, and fund innovative support services for patients and their families.

The Steads’ gifts to the Iowa First campaign follow their 2003 gift commitment of $25 million to the Tippie College of Business to support a variety of programs and initiatives, including the Stead Technology Services Group, one of the largest computer labs and technology-service groups on the UI campus.

As part of her service on the UI Foundation board, Mary Joy Stead is also active on its development committee. Jerre Stead has served on the boards of many corporations and nonprofit organizations, including the U of I Henry B. Tippie College of Business Board of Visitors. He chairs the Alzheimer's Research Institute in Scottsdale and the Garrett-Evangelical Seminary at Northwestern University. He also serves on the Salk Institute Board of Directors. And he recently was appointed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to oversee that state’s flood recovery efforts.

The couple's latest gift includes $8 million to endow one faculty chair within each of the University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics areas of pulmonology, nephrology, neurology and general pediatrics. The leadership development and innovation funds from the gift will be used by the university Department of Pediatrics staff, faculty and researchers to improve education and patient treatments, as well as to increase the understanding and awareness of pediatric diseases.