Development Office

Testimonial from Cameron Adams about eye-opening study abroad experience in IrelandThe Iowa State University Foundation is the private gift fundraising agency for Iowa State University. As part of this collaboration, the foundation has development staff housed in each of the colleges to raise funds that meet the needs of each.

The CALS Development Office

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Development Office has a demonstrated history of responding to college priorities through private gift support initiatives. The college’s fundraising effort is led by five development officers and three support staff. The CALS Development Office works hand-in-hand with college leadership in a uniquely immersive way. Development officers have close working relationships with the dean, administrators and faculty and staff across all departments and in all phases of discovery, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of current and prospective donors. This donor-centered approach is made possible because of the culture of philanthropy that is promoted and demonstrated by college leadership at all levels.

As a result of this partnership and the college's thousands of generous donors, the college has seen annual fundraising grow from $5 million in fiscal year 2002 to more than $40 million in fiscal year 2023.


The CALS Development Office engages closely with key Iowa stakeholders important to the college, including the leaders of state commodity groups, cooperatives, agricultural organizations, industry and others. The CALS Development Office focuses on Iowa, as more than half of the college’s 47,000 alumni live within the state. However, CALS development officers also extend their fundraising efforts by traveling regularly to states in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Florida to engage with alumni and stakeholders. The CALS development office reaches additional donors through the ISU Foundation offices of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Priority Initiatives, International Engagement and Gift Planning.


Biorenewables ComplexPrivate support is crucial to advancing the mission of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and benefits the college’s students, faculty and staff. Examples of the impacts of philanthropy in action in the college include:

  • $760,000 raised for CALS Emergency and completion grant funding
  • Additional endowed and expendable funds created
  • CALS Pathways to Innovation and Leadership
  • Study USA domestic travel program
  • Global ag support
  • Ag Sustainability Project
  • EARTH USVI Fork In The Road Station
  • Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Initiative
  • 178 new CALS student scholarships and fellowships established
  • $4 million in scholarships awarded annually to CALS students
  • 20 of the 50 named faculty positions in teaching, research and extension were created
  • Support for ongoing dean and departmental initiatives
  • Privately supported research and program funds
  • Establishment and ongoing budgetary support for the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods and the EARTH Service-Learning Program
  • Capital projects made possible through philanthropy:
    • Renovated Curtiss Hall, historic home of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences ($9 million of $16 million total funded privately)
    • Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center, with an arena that seats more than 800 people ($7.5 million, fully funded privately)
    • Biorenewables Complex, including two adjoining buildings for offices and laboratories to house the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering—Elings Hall, Sukup Hall and the Sukup Atrium ($15 million of $75 million total funded privately)
    • Kent Feed Mill and Grain Science Complex ($24 million project expected completion Fall 2021)
    • Robert T. Hamilton Poultry Teaching and Research Farm ($7.2 million project)
    • Stanley L. Balloun Turkey Teaching and Research Facility ($2 million project)