The University of Iowa

Remembering Dick Stanley, friend of International Programs

December 6th, 2017

Richard “Dick” Stanley passed away on November 17, 2017. A memorial service was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 2, at the First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine.  

Dick was a great friend of International Programs, and an unwavering supporter of international education and global understanding. He supported international education because he firmly believed that knowing more about the world and its myriad peoples and cultures provides a strong foundation for peace and justice. He demonstrated this belief in his career as an engineer, through his leadership roles in the Stanley Foundation and in other organizations, and in his life. Dick was an early proponent of internationalization at the University of Iowa.

Dick and his wife Mary Jo generously supported Hancher Auditorium, the UI College of Engineering, International Programs, and the UI Museum of Art. In recognition of their giving, the Stanley Café at Hancher Auditorium was named in their honor, and the C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Lab was named in honor of Dick’s father, a 1926 engineering graduate.

Photo of Dick Stanley

Dick and Mary Jo Stanley have been steadfast supporters of our work at Hancher in so many ways.  Dick approached everything with the perfect mix of humor, intelligence, warmth, compassion, and trust.  He loved projects that impacted the lives of those who most need hope and beauty in their lives.  I have never met a man with more love in his heart, and with more desire of making a difference in our world.   Dick will certainly be missed. 
     --Chuck Swanson, executive director, Hancher

Dick Stanley was a humanitarian, and he and Mary Jo devoted themselves to making the world a better place.  Dick’s intellect, gracious demeanor, and infectious smile, drew people to him.  The twinkle in his eye was ever-present, and he found and supported the good and positive in his local and global community.  His passing is a sad moment for all of us fortunate enough to know him, but his inspirational life challenges us to keep working on what is most important to us, as he did, to the end of our days.
     --Lynette Marshall, president and CEO, UI Center for Advancement

I took part in one of the Stanley Foundation’s Strategies for Peace conferences some 20 years ago and then worked with him at meetings of the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization. He played a helpful role at the conference I attended—especially in keeping the group of mostly academics from getting too far down into theoretical weeds and staying focused on broad policy issues. At the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization meetings, he and Mary Jo were always enthusiastic about supporting programs that promised to share UI knowledge with people overseas or to get our students overseas. Although we didn’t use the phrase, it was clear Dick believed in connecting Iowa with the world and the world with Iowa. Internationalization here at the university was really important to him, and his parents’ legacy in that area would not have been carried forward in the way it has been without his continuing support.
     --Bill Reisinger, professor, UI Department of Political Science

I have known Dick Stanley for almost forty years. I first met him and his wife Mary Jo when I came to Iowa to advise Max and Betty Stanley about their African art collection and to teach African art at the University of Iowa. I was very impressed by Max and Betty Stanley's liberalism. It was quite obvious from their interest in African art that they were interested in other people's cultures, and that they respected the differences between peoples. Over the next years I only met Dick occasionally, of course most sadly at funerals for his father Max Stanley and later for his mother Betty Stanley. I knew Dick and Mary Jo best through the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization. I met with them every year to go over my budget requests for study, scholarships, equipment, and research for African art at the University of Iowa. My wife Nora and I occasionally had opportunities to socialize with Dick and Mary Jo. This relationship was very important to me because it confirmed for me the support of the Stanley family for my efforts to make the study of African art important at the University of Iowa.
     --Chris Roy, Elizabeth M. Stanley Fellow and professor, UI Department of Art & Art History