Second Major Contribution Brings Greehey Family Foundation Funding for Iowa Central to $4 Million

    by Iowa Central Information
    Posted on 6/19/2017


San Antonio, TX - Fort Dodge, Iowa native Bill Greehey and his Greehey Family Foundation have agreed to donate an additional $3 million to the college to help fund construction of the "Greehey Family Student Success Center" on the Fort Dodge campus.  The $3 million gift follows a $1 million gift from the Greehey Family Foundation to the college last year to provide scholarships for first-generation college students.

Greehey grew up on the east side of Fort Dodge with his parents and two sisters.  "I grew up poor.  My dad worked for minimum wage at the local gypsum mill and my mother worked in different jobs and didn’t make much money either, but they taught me the value of hard work,” Greehey said.  “I knew I wanted a better life and a college education would be the answer.  But there was no way that I could afford to go to college at that time.” 

Upon graduation from Fort Dodge Senior High, Greehey enlisted in the Air Force and when his tour of duty was completed, it was the G.I. Bill that helped fund his college education at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.  After graduation, Greehey embarked on what would go on to be a very long and highly distinguished career in the energy industry.  Greehey became founding CEO of Valero Energy Corporation in 1980 and was named the company’s chairman in 1983.  He directed the company’s growth from a small, regional pipeline company into the largest refining company in North America.  Valero ranked No. 15 on the FORTUNE 500 when he retired as Chairman at the close of 2006.  In 2012, The Harvard Business Review named Greehey as one of the best performing CEOs in the world based on his tenure as CEO of Valero.  Today Greehey serves as Chairman of NuStar Energy, L.P., which spun off from Valero in January of 2007.  NuStar is one of the largest petroleum pipeline and terminal operators in America. He became NuStar’s chairman in 2001, and the company has achieved significant growth and success since then and today operates in nine countries.

A nationally renowned philanthropist who has supported countless charitable civic and charitable causes throughout his life and career with major contributions of his time and money, Greehey established The Greehey Family Foundation in 2004.  Since then, the foundation has given well over $100 million in grants to a wide range of worthy causes, mostly related to human services and higher education.

“Had it not been for the G.I. Bill and my education, I would not have had the opportunities I have been blessed to have,” Greehey said.  “That’s why I am passionate about helping others who want to get an education and pursue the American Dream.  And supporting Iowa Central's mission to offer a quality education at an affordable price will benefit many generations to come, so it is a great investment in the future as well."

"We cannot overstate the impact that Bill Greehey’s gifts to Iowa Central will make to our efforts to give our students the best possible support we can and help them make the most out of their college experience so they can move on to achieve their life goals, as Mr. Greehey did,” said Dr. Dan Kinney, president of Iowa Central.  “Right now our student support services are spread across our campus, but the new Greehey Family Student Success Center will consolidate all of those services into a single building so that the students, particularly the at-risk and low-income students, have access to important services in a single location, which improves their ability to identify and obtain the services that they need.

“The concept is similar to the concept for an organization in San Antonio called Haven for Hope that Mr. Greehey founded and raised over $100 million to build,” Kinney added.  “Haven for Hope is a nationally renowned homeless campus that provides homeless men, women and children with all of the services they need on a single campus to transform their lives and go on to be happy, productive and independent.  We have the same ultimate goal for our students, and Mr. Greehey’s gift is helping to transform lives here in Fort Dodge.”

"Our Board and foundation sincerely thank Mr. Greehey for his incredibly generous gifts,” said Mark Crimmins, President of the Iowa Central Board of Directors.  “Fort Dodge and our country are lucky to have such generous donors as Mr. Greehey and the Greehey Family Foundation.”

Kinney also said he "wanted to thank the work of Laurie Hendricks, VP of Development and Jim Kersten, VP of External Affairs and Government Relations for their help in securing this significant donation and Jim Oberhelman of Fort Dodge for introducing Jim Kersten to Mr. Greehey several years ago."