Sherwood and Sara Wolfson
"There's very little we don't like at Hancher. It makes Iowa City more livable and intellectually stimulating."
Iowa City, Iowa
Sherwood and Sara Wolfson have been part of The University of Iowa and Iowa City since they joined the UI faculty in 1971. Sara chaired the home economics department, taught in the College of Education, and served as UI associate vice president for academic affairs. Sherwood held a joint appointment in the College of Dentistry and the VA Medical Center.
Both are now faculty emeriti, still active in the life of their University—and they wouldn’t dream of leaving the Iowa City community.
“We’ve never contemplated retiring anyplace else,” Sherwood says. “The whole University environment is wonderful.”
For instance, the couple have been avid Hancher enthusiasts, attending an eclectic variety of performances each year since they arrived at the UI.
“There’s very little we don’t like at Hancher,” Sara says. “It’s a big part of life here. It makes Iowa City more livable and intellectually stimulating.”
As both faculty and community members, the Wolfsons have seen firsthand the benefits of private support for the UI, so they long ago made a pledge to themselves to give annually to a number of UI areas—including Hancher—that they believe contribute to the community’s unique atmosphere.
It’s a pledge they’ve kept faithfully, for more than 30 years. And in recent years, they were able to expand their sustaining annual support by taking advantage of the federal charitable IRA roll-over provision. The provision allows people 70.5 years or more of age to “roll over” IRA assets directly to a qualified charity such as The University of Iowa Foundation—without declaring the withdrawn funds as taxable income.
“We took our required minimum distribution,” Sherwood says, “and used it to support programs we believe in.”
With their tax-free funds, the Wolfsons gave to Hancher (they point out that there’s no way Hancher can afford such great entertainment on ticket prices alone, and they love its statewide educational programming) as well as to the UI colleges where they taught.
And their generosity didn’t stop there. These committed donors also gave generously to the UI Museum of Art and to several UI academic programs with which they were not associated professionally, but for which they have great respect.
The Wolfsons would have given anyway, as they do every year, simply because they believe it’s important. But with the charitable IRA roll-over provision, they were able to reach a little further with their support.
“We’d absolutely recommend it to anyone,” Sherwood says of their decision to take advantage of the IRA roll-over provision. “It just makes good sense.”