The Iowa College Foundation (ICF) recently honored Kent Corporation for the company’s 50-year commitment to the foundation. An article in the Iowa College Foundation 2014 Annual Report detailed Kent Corporation’s dedicated service to ICF’s Board of Governors and cumulative gifts of $1.5 million.
G.A. Kent, founder of Kent Corporation, made an initial donation to the Foundation in 1963, marking the beginning of a 50-year relationship between the Foundation and Kent Corporation.
In 1967, James H. Kent, son of the Kent Corporation founder, began offering guidance to Foundation Executive Director Wayne Lilegren. According to the Foundation, much of the advice from these exchanges was extremely instrumental in building a strong, solid foundation for ICF during the early years.
Later that year, James Kent was appointed to serve on one of ICF’s planning committees, and he continued to serve on the Board of Governors until 1972. James Kent also served as Chairman of the board from 1971-1972. In 1996, he was honored for his contributions to ICF as an Iowa College Foundation Board of Governors Honorary Life Trustee.
Today, the relationship continues with Chairman and CEO of Kent Corporation, Gage A. Kent. Gage Kent, a member of the ICF Board of Governors since 1996 and Chairman from 2005-2007, created the Ignite Entrepreneurship Scholarship Program in partnership with ICF. The scholarship program was designed to meet a need for funds designated for students demonstrating entrepreneurial leadership, and now has an endowed corpus of $1,000,000.
“[This program] provides ICF with a legacy from the Kent family and Kent Corporation – a lasting example of their commitment to Iowa’s independent colleges and the students they serve.” – Iowa College Foundation 2014 Annual Report.
“As an employer in Iowa, developing a qualified and dedicated pool of people from which to recruit is essential to us,” said Gage A. Kent. “The Iowa College Foundation helps bring together the needs of its member schools and the resources of the state’s corporate citizens in order to efficiently benefit both parties.”
Kent Corporation’s dedication to serving Iowa colleges is also apparent through their $4 million donation to Gage Kent’s alma mater, Simpson College in 2011. The result was the Kent Campus Center, opened in October 2012. Simpson College is one of Iowa College Foundation’s 23 member schools.
The 50-year relationship between the Iowa College Foundation and Kent Corporation has benefitted both the Foundation and Kent Corporation. The next 50 years are sure to continue that tradition.