Gifts from James Oliver Irvin Estate Will Support Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa — An estate gift from “Deadhead" James Oliver Irvin will provide support for Iowa State University.
The Dallas Center, Iowa, resident, formerly of Keokuk, Iowa, died at age 67 in August 2010, dividing his estate between Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the American Cancer Society, and contributing approximately $140,000 to each organization.
The gift to Iowa State University, made through the Iowa State University Foundation, will support the Greater University Fund for Excellence. This general fund is used at the discretion of Iowa State President Steven Leath as needs arise in the university’s most critical areas, such as student scholarships, faculty needs and program support.
Deadhead worked most of his life until retirement as an over-the-road truck driver, earning his nickname “Deadhead,” which means driving without a load. James Irvin was born October 20, 1943, in Rochester, Pennsylvania, to Robert H. Irvin and Alberta L. (Azinger) Irvin.
“Deadhead was a fun person to be around. He never met a stranger, and he loved doing kind things for people,” said his niece, Ellen Weiss, of Dallas Center, Iowa, “Although the family didn’t know his plans or the extent of what he had saved, it was typical of his generous nature to want to do good for these important organizations.”
“Gifts like this mean a great deal to Iowa State,” said Betsy Hoffman, the university’s executive vice president and provost. “His generosity illustrates the level of respect and support many Iowans have for the University of Iowa and Iowa State. Generous gifts such as this recognize that universities serve to enrich young lives and local communities and to prepare the next generation of Iowa’s leaders.”