Phyllis Lepke

Honored by:Larry Lepke
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Phyllis J. Lepke
BS 1969, Technical Journalism
MS 1974, Journalism
PhD 1991, Prof. Studies in Education

Talent, grace, and a genuine love for Iowa State defined nearly 40 distinguished years of service by Phyllis Lepke, as a student, faculty member, alumni administrator, and development professional at Iowa State University. Lepke retired in 2003, but she left behind a proud legacy of serving the university with loyalty and enthusiasm.

An active participant in Barjche and Stars Over VEISHEA during her student years, Lepke was on the dance faculty at Iowa State from 1970-77 before serving as assistant and associate director of the Alumni Association for 1977-82. The Association's alumni club, travel, merchandise, honors and awards, and legislative programs grew under her supervision, and she served as co-editor of The Iowa Stater.

Her home for the next 21 years was the ISU Foundation. During her tenure at the Foundation, she worked as the university's first arts development officer, securing gifts for the College of Design, Iowa State Center, University Museums, and Department of Music. As the Foundation vice president, Lepke managed the fundraising staff for ten years, providing leadership during two record-setting capital campaigns. She also supervised publications and public relations, grant-writing, special events, donor research, and donor relations during her Foundation career, which included interim responsibility for the entire Foundation for 18 months in 1995-97. Her belief in the university's ability to accomplish what seemed impossible, even in the most difficult situations, made her successful in her career and awe-inspiring to others. Many are proud to call her friend, teacher, and mentor.

Over the years Lepke has served on the ISU Alumni Association trusteeship committee, the Faculty Council's executive committee, and a number of ISU committees as a faculty or staff member. She is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association, and she and her husband, Larry, are members of the Order of the Knoll President's Circle.

Submitted 7/1/96; updated 12/5/2014