John and Mary Pappajohn

John and Mary Pappajohn

John: 1928-2023 Mary: 1933-2022
  • John Pappajohn graduated with a BSC degree in business from the University of Iowa in 1952
  • He established an insurance agency after graduation from college and subsequently organized and became Chairman of the Board of Guardsman Insurance Investors
  • In 1969, Mr. Pappajohn organized Equity Dynamics, Inc., a financial consulting entity and Pappajohn Capital Resources, a venture capital firm in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Since this time, Mr. Pappajohn has been involved in over 100 start ups, over 50 IPOs and has served as a Director in over 40 public companies
  • He and Mary Pappajohn— who received her bachelor’s degree in related art from the University of Minnesota and serves as a trustee of both the Des Moines Art Center and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis—are among the University of Iowa’s most generous supporters
  • Mr. Pappajohn and his wife, Mary, have gifted more than $100 million to various philanthropic causes including the John Pappajohn Business Building at the University of Iowa Business School, the Pappajohn Pavilion and the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics and the Pappajohn Education Center (located in Des Moines).
  • He and Mary contributed to the state of Iowa through entrepreneurship, philanthropy, art, and education.

Building Information

Street Address
169 Newton Road
Year built

The John and Mary Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building houses “high-risk, high-reward” research in diabetes, deafness and brain science as well as complex diseases affecting the heart and lungs.

The 256,000-square-foot building hosts six centers and programs — all aimed at improving understanding of the fundamentals of biology and disease and extending discoveries into real-life applications that improve human health. The research areas include:

  • The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center
  • Francois M. Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center
  • Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging
  • University of Iowa Neurosciences Institute
  • University of Iowa Auditory Research