Chuck and Cecelia Harmeyer
“Anytime something benefits you or touches your life in a positive way, then you should do whatever you can to help or assist that organization”
Chuck and Cecelia Harmeyer didn’t go to the University of Iowa. But their love for the Hawkeyes—they’ve been season ticket holders for football and basketball for more than 30 years—is evident. So it wasn’t a surprise to the Harmeyers when two of their three children chose Iowa for their undergraduate education: daughter Melissa graduated from the UI in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and communication studies, and son Michael graduated in 2010 with a B.A. in cinema and communication studies (daughter Erin is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri).
In appreciation for Melissa and Michael’s time at the UI, the couple has decided to give back to Iowa by naming the University of Iowa Foundation as a beneficiary of their life insurance policy.
“Cecelia and I came from families where both giving and education were important,” says Chuck. “Since we’re both native Iowans, and helping provide educational opportunities is important to us, giving to the University of Iowa is a natural because we believe that the UI provides the best postsecondary education in the state.”
The Harmeyers’ gift will create two scholarship funds in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: the Melissa Harmeyer Scholarship in the UI Department of History, and the Michael D. Harmeyer Scholarship in the UI Department of Cinema and Comparative Literature. The endowed funds will create annual scholarships for one or more students in each of the respective departments—a tribute, Chuck says, to Iowa and to his children.
“Once we decided to give to the university, establishing the scholarships in Melissa and Michael’s names came easy,” says Chuck. “The UI played a great part in our children’s development that carries over into their lives today. And, these funds are also our way of recognizing the work that Melissa and Michael put forward while in school.”
According to the couple, naming the UI Foundation as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy was an easy way to give. “It represented a very painless way of giving something of value to the university,” says Chuck. “We never really assumed use of those funds in any of our personal financial planning.”
Overall, the Harmeyers are pleased with their decision to give to Iowa.
“Anytime something benefits you or touches your life in a positive way, then you should do whatever you can to help or assist that organization,” says Chuck. “Plus, providing educational opportunities to young people only ensures a better future for us all.”
And it’s safe to say his children are equally enthused about the gift.
“When I first told Melissa about the gift, she told me one thing: that she felt honored and proud,” says Chuck. “As parents, anytime we can make our children feel this way, we should aspire to do so.”