UNI to award degrees to women's advocate, business leader
The University of Northern Iowa will award Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degrees to two Iowans during its Commencement May 7, 2005, in the UNI-Dome.
The Iowa Board of Regents approved the action Tuesday at its meeting in Ames,
Christine H. B. Grant of Iowa City, a longtime gender equity advocate for women's sports who championed Title IX nationwide, and Rex B. Eno of Cedar Rapids, retired chairman of Life Investors Insurance Company of America and an advisor to AEGON USA, will receive the degrees. They were recommended to UNI President Robert Koob and the Regents, with the unanimous approval of UNI's Honorary Degree Committee and the UNI Faculty Senate.
Grant is being recognized for "her many years of advocacy for gender equity in women's sports advocacy that has helped pave the way for millions of young women in Iowa and across the United States to gain access to opportunities for their athletic talents, and through more equitable distribution of monetary support for their educations." She was nominated by Susan Hill, director of the UNI Women's Studies Program, and by members of the Women's Studies Advisory Board.
Grant was women's athletics director at the University of Iowa from 1973 until 2002. She was a founding member and president of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. She also served on the board of directors and as president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. In a citation from the National Collegiate Athletics Association in 2001, Grant was acknowledged as "one of the most influential women in collegiate athletics."
Eno, who attended UNI in the 1960s, is being recognized "for his outstanding professional and personal accomplishments as a business leader, for his contributions to education in the state of Iowa, and for his many years of service to UNI." He was nominated by James Lubker, Dean of the UNI College of Humanities & Fine Arts.
He served in various capacities at Life Investors, including as president of the company's Individual Division. At AEGON USA, the fifth-largest insurance company in the world, he was senior vice president: He trained and managed scores of executives throughout his career, and continues to serve as an advisor to AEGON executive leadership today.
Eno has given his time and talent to numerous nonprofit organizations and initiatives in Cedar Rapids, including volunteer leadership for the American Diabetes Association, the YMCA, and United Way of East Central Iowa.
Throughout his career and into retirement, Eno and his wife, Kathy, a 1971 graduate of UNI, have maintained strong bonds with UNI. He was a leading force in establishing the Iowa Mathematics Coalition housed at UNI; played an instrumental role in establishing UNI's Freeburg Early Childhood Education Center; and he and his wife established the Teaching in Iowa Award Fund at UNI to encourage outstanding graduates to stay in Iowa and teach. He is a member and past president of the UNI Foundation Board of Trustees and is co-chairman of UNI's "Students First" capital campaign.
Grant will receive her honorary degree during 10 a.m. Commencement exercises, while Eno's will be awarded during the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Adapted by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson from an article in the Waterloo Courier, March 18, 2005, page B5.