UNI receives $10 million donation


UNI Foundation/Courtesy Photo

Local couple David and Karen Takes have recently made a $10 million donation to UNI, David's alma mater.


A UNI alumnus and his wife are giving back to the university, to the tune of $10 million.

David Takes, who graduated from UNI in 1981, has been a resident of Cedar Falls with his wife Karen for many years. On Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Iowa Board of Regents meeting, UNI President Mark Nook announced that the couple had made a $10 million gift to David’s alma mater.

The Takes’ gift was made through the UNI Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which sources private funding and partnerships for UNI. The UNI Foundation is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, of which David Takes is a member and former chair. He is also president and chief executive of Doerfer Companies, a large-scale manufacturer, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

“David and Karen Takes have always shown strong leadership for UNI,” said Nook. “They have invested their time, talents and treasure in this university. This new gift builds on their passion for the university and will make our campus even stronger going forward.”

The donation will be divided among several UNI programs and initiatives. Part of the money will be invested in the Takes Endowment, established by the couple in 2015 to support UNI Business students in “gaining international experiences and increase cultural intelligence,” according to a press release from the UNI Foundation.

Another programs on campus which will benefit from the couple’s donation is the UNI Mascot Outreach Endowed Fund in support of TC, TK and the students who lead the mascot program. In addition, the gift will be put towards capital improvements on the UNI campus. No definite announcements have been made at this time, but projects under consideration include the Campanile, Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, the Industrial Technology Center and the UNI-Dome. 

“We are extremely grateful Dave and Karen are willing to show their commitment to the university and engage with us as we identify the next capital projects that are critical to UNI,” said Nook. “Knowing we have the support to explore projects that are central to UNI’s identity, Panther Athletics and the cultural vitality of the Cedar Valley and state of Iowa gives us momentum as we think about what our campus can look like for the future.”

“As long-time residents of Cedar Falls and as a proud alum, we are extremely grateful for everything the University of Northern Iowa and Panther Nation have brought to our family and our community at large,” David said. “The benefits we enjoy are truly priceless, and it is with this sense of gratitude that Karen and I make this commitment.”