UnityPoint Health-Waterloo and Allen College officials are announcing the receipt of the largest donor gift in the history of the nursing and health sciences education institution.
The estate of Edward W. Jesse, Jr., a Jesup area farmer, is donating a total of $3,063,099.13. The gift comes in the form of an endowed scholarship fund that will provide scholarships for Allen College students well into the future.
The gift goes toward the Allen College initiatives portion of the For Allen For You capital campaign that is raising $19.8 million for three distinct projects. To date, $11,068,913.68 has been raised or pledged toward that overall campaign total.
In addition to endowed scholarships, the Allen College initiatives include securing and renovating buildings for expanding programs.
Edward William Jesse, Jr., died in 2013, at the age of 78. He had been a longtime farmer in Black Hawk and Buchanan counties and was a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church. Jesse had also donated land in Jesup in 2008 for UnityPoint’s Jesup Clinic. His total lifetime giving to Allen is nearly $3.26 million.
Edward Jesse’s nephew, Brad Jesse, is also an area farmer. He said his Uncle Ed’s sister, Margaret Brust, graduated from Allen College and that Ed’s father, Edward Jesse, Sr., had also given generously to Allen. A niece, Jean (Woods) Russell, and grandniece, Alissa (Fehl) Barron also graduated from Allen College.
“We are fortunate to have friends of Allen like Ed Jesse and his family,” said Pam Delagardelle, President and CEO UnityPoint Health – Waterloo.
“This extremely generous gift will help many area students be able to afford their dream of entering the healthcare field and to begin important and satisfying careers – many of them right here in the Cedar Valley. It will also aid Allen College in its efforts to increase enrollment at a time when nursing shortages remain a concern all across Iowa and the nation.”
Brad Jesse remembers how his uncle would often bring watermelons from his garden to neighbors and family. He said his uncle’s estate grew through working hard, saving and investing in the stock market.
“He wasn’t one to spend money on himself; he was real frugal,” Brad said. “He was a well-informed, intelligent man who worked hard. He followed the news closely and made good investments.”
While he never went to college himself, Ed Jesse’s gift will go a long way in helping others reap the benefits of higher education and to get started in their careers.
The Edward W. Jesse Estate Endowed Scholarship will be presented annually to students based on financial need, personal qualifications and signs of academic success. A preference may be given to applicants who graduated from Black Hawk County or Buchanan County high schools. Further information will be available on the Allen College website at www.AllenCollege.edu.