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Coming Home and finding a way to make a difference There was a time when Margaret Harding felt distant from her alma mater. At first, it was a physical distance. After graduating in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from Iowa State University, her career took her thousands of miles away: first to the West Coast, where she worked for a number of years with General Electric’s nuclear engineering program; and then to the East Coast, where she transferred to a GE office in Wilmington, N.C. Trips back to her home state of Iowa were few and far between. And when Iowa State discontinued its nuclear engineering major, Harding felt she had lost an important emotional connection to the university.

Then a few years ago, a development officer from Iowa State’s College of Engineering paid a chance call on Harding wanting to learn more about where her life post-Iowa State had taken her, including her long and fascinating career in nuclear energy, which had made her a national expert in the field. Now an energy consultant in Wilmington, Harding makes biannual trips back to campus to serve on the College of Engineering’s industrial advisory council. During those visits she often serves as a guest

“Supporting a faculty position

in alternative energy that will focus not only on research but teaching seemed a great way to support Iowa State.”

Margaret Harding Margaret Harding

lecturer to engineering classes and the Women in Science and Engineering group. “The College of Engineering reached out to me and invited me to be on their advisory council and every time I come back I feel like a complete VIP,” she said. “I have really enjoyed visiting and seeing what an outstanding education Iowa State continues to provide engineering students.” During her visits back to campus, Harding learned that Iowa State was establishing an undergraduate minor Continued on p. 2

Our Mission The ISU Foundation Women & Philanthropy program works to educate and encourage women to be philanthropic leaders at Iowa State University and in their communities.

Coming home and finding a way to make a difference in nuclear engineering. The program combines Iowa State classes with course offerings from the Big 12 Engineering Consortium. “I think Iowa State is trying to regain its heritage in nuclear engineering. That really means something to me,” she said. “During visits to campus I have been advising them on the new minor and giving a few guest lectures. “It’s fun to be around the students and see them so excited about the program.” These connections ultimately led Harding to come full circle with Iowa State and for her to consider a gift to her alma mater. When her father passed away in 2007, she came into an inheritance, which she

used to help create an endowed faculty position in the College of Engineering. The Margaret E. Harding Professorship was established through a deferred gift. It is one of more than 80 endowed faculty positions created during Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose to help recruit and retain outstanding faculty members on campus. “I wanted to do something for the university, especially since it was making an effort to come back to nuclear engineering,” she said. “Supporting a faculty position in alternative energy that will focus not only on research but teaching seemed a great way to do that.”

ISU Foundation Women and Philanthropy Committee

Women and Philanthropy Committe members present at the Aug. 13 committee meeting, left to right, Becky Kresowik, Cynthia Jeffrey, Leslie Saftig, Dee Reinhart Vandeventer, Lora Talbot, Colleen Armstrong, and Michele Whitty

Colleen Armstrong West Des Moines, Iowa

Kristi Knous Urbandale, Iowa

Rhonda Christensen Alta, Iowa

Becky Kresowik Iowa City, Iowa

Suzanna de Baca Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

Karol Nickell Urbandale, Iowa

Kathy Geoffroy Ames, Iowa

Leslie Saftig Ames, Iowa

Cynthia Jeffrey Ames, Iowa

Lora Talbot Belmond, Iowa

Peggy Johnson Ames, Iowa

Dee Reinhart Vandeventer, Chair Cedar Falls, Iowa

Sharon Juon Waterloo, Iowa

Michele Whitty Clive, Iowa

a message from the chair

The Power of Giving and Receiving Almost 200 individuals attended the annual Women and Philanthropy Workshop on the Iowa State University campus Wednesday, April 13, 2011. “The Power of Giving and Receiving” featured breakout sessions on financial topics including charitable estate planning, investing for the future, trends of nonprofit boards, and family finances. Keynote speaker Louise Sawyer, senior advisor and visiting scholar at the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College, spoke on the development of philanthropic interest and engagement. Plans are underway for next year’s Women & Philanthropy Workshop, which will be held in the spring of 2012. The date, keynote speaker and breakout sessions will be announced at a later date. To learn more about the workshop call 515.294.4607, email WP@foundation., or visit

Being back on campus in April reminded me how much I love Iowa State in the spring. The day was beautiful. The warm sun urged the spring buds to open. Students hurried to add the final touches to VEISHEA. Cherry pies awaited us. And in the Scheman Building, nearly 200 women — and men — gathered to experience the power of giving and receiving at the 11th annual Woman and Philanthropy Workshop. We definitely lived our mission that day: to educate and encourage women to be philanthropic leaders at Iowa State University and in their communities. An opening session show of hands revealed that almost half of the participants were attending for the first time. Among them were an all-time high of 15 Iowa State students, sponsored by many generous donors. There’s always such a unique, vibrant energy at this workshop. Our breakout session speakers covered topics ranging from investing wisely; creating a solid estate plan; communicating with family members about finances and philanthropy; and tips on how to be a great board member and volunteer. Moreover, attendees learned not only from the expert speakers but from one another during each session’s group discussion. Louise Sawyer, our keynote speaker, proved to be the icing on the cake on a thoroughly inspirational day. A lawyer, senior advisor and visiting scholar at Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, and a partner in North Bridge Advisory Group, Louise shared her research on the development of philanthropic interest, engagement and leadership in young women during emerging adulthood. Louise moved us with her description of undergraduate programs that provide young people hands-on experience by working together to distribute $10,000. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a program similar to that at Iowa State? Read more about Louise and her work at the foundation’s website at I wish to extend my special thanks to the Women and Philanthropy Committee for all their hard work on this year’s workshop. They are an incredible group of women and are already developing details for the 2012 workshop. Stay tuned! Go Cyclones,

Dee Reinhart Vandeventer ‘75 Chair, Women & Philanthropy Committee

Iowa State University Foundation 2505 University Boulevard P.O. Box 2230 Ames, Iowa 50010-2230

IN THIS ISSUE ƒƒ Margaret Harding ƒƒ Dee Vandeventer ƒƒ 2011 Workshop — “The Power of Giving and Receiving” ƒƒ Women and Philanthropy Committee

What did attendees have to say about the 2011 Women & Philanthropy Workshop? “People and women can make a difference and you should get involved when you are young.” “I learned today that even though I am just one person, I can make a difference.” “Very inspiring day! Loved to hear how lives can be changed.” “The speakers had powerful messages about philanthropy, learning and development.” “Very interesting and inspiring!”