For Iowa. Forever More. Campaign

Dr. Keith CarterThe Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and UI Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research concluded a successful philanthropic campaign that saw $127 million raised toward our mission. The amount exceeded the department and Wynn Institute’s ambitious $125 million goal set nearly eight years ago.

Donations from 7,883 grateful patients, alumni, organizations, and friends of the department were received to support collaborative research, endowed professorships and chairs, superior medical education for residents and fellows, and excellence in patient care.

“We are thrilled and grateful to have received such tremendous support of our eye program from so many individuals! The generosity of our donors and alumni move us even closer to being the best program in the country,” states professor and department chairman Keith Carter, MD.

“Philanthropic support is very important to all aspects of academic medicine. Gifts such as those made by Mr. (Stephen) Wynn and many others are allowing us to aggressively pursue treatments for all forms of heritable blindness regardless of the rarity of each individual condition,” says Edwin Stone, MD, PhD, the Seamans-Hauser Chair of Molecular Ophthalmology and director of the UI Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research.

Perhaps serendipitously, the gift that lifted the department past the goal came from the late Jim Gross O’Brien and his widow, Donnita Gross, of Boulder City Nevada, who have a long history with the department. Jim’s grandfather C.S. O’Brien was the founder and head of the department for nearly 25 years. The family established the Lillian C. O’Brien and Dr. C.S. O’Brien Chair in Ophthalmology which is currently held by Carter. Nearing the official end of the campaign, Donnita continued the passion of her late husband by committing a deferred estate gift in support of education and faculty retention.

The department raised one of the largest amounts among colleges and academic units in the University of Iowa’s For Iowa. Forever More. Campaign which raised $1.975 billion in total. More information at

Tuesday, March 28, 2017