Alumni and friends make long-lasting impact through Forever True, For Iowa State campaign

Madisyn Rostro standing at a table in the Farmhouse Museum

Madisyn Rostro inside the Farm House Museum on campus. Photo provided by the Iowa State University Foundation.

AMES, Iowa – Madisyn Rostro knows the impact of the $1.542 billion that alumni and friends of Iowa State University gave through the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign. With the help of a scholarship and an internship made possible because of donor support, the senior history major was able to achieve her goal of being the first in her family to attend college and gain experience for her future career. Her story is one example of how students are benefiting from the generosity of donors, whose giving exceeded the campaign’s goal of raising $1.5 billion.

Every aspect of Iowa State – from faculty, staff and programs to facilities such as the Student Innovation Center and the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab – is benefiting from donor generosity, which is helping advance Iowa State by providing support today and for generations to come.

“The historic success of the campaign is a testament to Iowa State University’s powerful impact – providing access to an excellent education, conducting innovative and impactful research, and ensuring science-based resources and programs are widely available through extension and outreach,” said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen. “We are deeply grateful for the generous investments made by tens of thousands of individuals, businesses and organizations who recognize Iowa State’s unique value to the state, nation and world.”

At the campaign close on June 30, 2021, more than 96,000 donors made 532,377 gifts and commitments during the campaign’s nine-year duration.

  • 35,508 are first-time donors to Iowa State
  • 3,828 are businesses or organizations
  • 58,231 are Iowa State University alumni
  • Donors are from all 50 states and 49 countries

In addition, hundreds of volunteers gave their time and talent to help advance the university through the campaign.

“The campaign’s extraordinary achievement directly shows the generosity of Iowans and people from across the world and the dedication they have to Iowa State, especially during challenging times,” said Jon Fleming, a 1975 Iowa State graduate who served as the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign chair.

The support from Iowa State donors exceeded the campaign’s goal twice. In 2019, the campaign reached its initial goal of $1.1 billion two years ahead of schedule. Donors stepped up to the challenge of an increased target of $1.5 billion by June 30, 2021, to help meet the needs at Iowa State.

This includes helping ensure students have access to Iowa State’s exceptional education offering practical, global and leadership experiences.

Support for students

Through the campaign, donors gave $500 million for student support, which facilitates access to an Iowa State education and increases the ability to attract students from across Iowa and the world. Donor support enables students to engage in an exceptional Iowa State experience, from student organizations and study abroad to undergraduate research and internships that help prepare them for the workforce. For example, more than 56,000 donor-funded scholarships have been awarded to students during the campaign.

This support is helping students today and will continue to be available far into the future, providing generations of students access to an Iowa State education.

Some examples of student support include:

Donor support is also enabling Iowa State’s outstanding faculty and staff to provide a top-level education and inspire a spirit of innovation in students as they uplift Iowa State as a global leader in the quest for solutions to issues such as food and water insecurity, human and animal health, cybersecurity, sustainability and many other critical areas. Examples include:

Because of donors, 148 new funds were established during the campaign to support faculty positions, which include fellowships, professorships, department chairs and deanships.

Advanced and vibrant facilities are a keystone in carrying out the collaborative and hands-on education, cutting-edge research and outreach at the university. Donors gave more than $275 million in gifts and commitments to fully or partially fund new or revitalized facilities, including research laboratories, classrooms, collaboration spaces and more. Examples include:

For more information and stories about the lasting impact donors have made through the Forever True, For Iowa State campaign, please visit