St. Ambrose receives $2.5 million gift to honor professor

Local News

Muscatine native John L. Butler and his wife, Holly E. Herman, announced a $2.5 million gift to St. Ambrose University on September 30, 2020. (Bryan Bobb. OurQuadCities.com)

UPDATE: A St. Ambrose alumni who was inspired by a professor has awarded the university a generous gift in her honor.

John Butler, a Muscatine native and 1971 Ambrose graduate, gave a $2.5 million gift to permamently endow and name an academic chair in the history department.

The endowment is named for Agnes Renner, who joined the faculty in 1946 and taught there until her death in 1973.

He says she made geography come alive and taught him other important lessons.

“She encouraged me to study hard, work hard, aim high, try — which I appreciated at the time,” Butler said. “Subsequently, you look back and you think about places and people who have had a major influence on you and where you may not have gone if it weren’t for them. She is clearly one of those.”

The gift will cover the salary and benefits of a history faculty member.

EARLIER UPDATE: Muscatine native John L. Butler and his wife, Holly E. Herman, announced a $2.5 million gift to St. Ambrose University on Wednesday.

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