DMU announces 2018 Glanton honorees, presenting sponsor

When Des Moines University hosts its 15th annual Glanton Dinner on Oct. 25, it also will honor two individuals whose generosity and service are widely evident in Iowa and far beyond: John and Mary Pappajohn.

Presented this year by Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines, the dinner raises contributions to the University’s Glanton Fund, which supports scholarships for minority students, who are under-represented in health care, and multicultural initiatives for all students. The dinner also is a celebration of community, as it attracts hundreds of corporate, nonprofit and civic leaders and supporters.

“We are so grateful that John and Mary Pappajohn have been generous supporters of DMU’s Glanton Dinner and the Glanton Fund since its beginning,” says University President and CEO Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D. “They have served and enriched our community in numerous other far-ranging and inspiring ways, too. We’re also very grateful to Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines for being our presenting sponsor this year.”

The Pappajohns exemplify their philosophy that philanthropy “is not just money; it’s a lifestyle.” At DMU, they are longtime Glanton Fund supporters and members of the Founders Society, which honors donors for cumulative gifts of $100,000 or more. The couple also has established scholarships, centers and facilities at numerous universities and supported many other causes, including contributing the art works on display in Des Moines’ Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

John Pappajohn, who emigrated from Greece at the age of nine months to Mason City, Iowa, has established companies in insurance, financial consulting and venture capital. He has been involved in more than 100 start-ups and more than 50 initial public offerings, and he has served as a director of more than 40 public companies. In addition, he serves on a wide variety of business and philanthropic boards. The Pappajohns have been married for 56 years.

The Glanton Fund is named in honor of Willie Stevenson Glanton and the late Luther T. Glanton Jr., both lawyers and civic leaders in central Iowa. For more information on the fund and the 2018 Glanton Dinner, visit, call 515-271-1463 or email

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