Max and Betty Stanley

C. Maxwell (Max) and Elizabeth (Betty) M. Stanley were exemplary visionary leaders in philanthropic and educational endeavors. They strove to promote public understanding, constructive dialogue, and cooperative action on critical international issues and worked to recognize the essential roles of both the policy community and the broader public in building sustainable peace.

Alumni of the University of Iowa and longtime active volunteers and generous supporters of the institution, the Stanleys created the Stanley-University of Iowa Foundation Support Organization in 1979. Funded with an initial gift of $1,675,000, the support organization provided funding for projects across the University of Iowa. The Stanleys also created two separate foundations: The Stanley Center for Peace and Security, which focuses on world peace and international relations, and E & M Charities, which supports a variety of activities.

Supported Activities

Over the past 40 years, 65% of funds the Stanleys have contributed to the University of Iowa have supported International Programs' endeavors, via the Stanley-University of Iowa Foundation Support Organization. Within IP, the following programs benefit significantly from this funding:

Annual Funding for International Research, Study, and Engagement

Stanley Undergraduate and Graduate Awards for International Research are given annually to outstanding University of Iowa students for the pursuit of research and learning activities in international studies not available on the UI campus.

A variety of faculty funding opportunities, including:

  • Global Curriculum Development Award
  • Global Research Partnership Awards
  • International Travel Awards
  • Major Projects Award
  • Provost's Global Forum Award
  • Special Projects Awards
  • Summer Research Fellowships

Impact Highlights

Rebecca Flowers in front of aquarium of abalone

Rebecca Flowers, MFA student, nonfiction writing program, received a Stanley Award for International Research to conduct research in Australia. Her project was Aboriginal Divers in New South Wales: Alternate Histories of Diving.

"Through the Stanley Fellowship, I was able to research the relationship of aboriginal peoples in New South Wales, Australia to diving. More specifically, I collected oral and archival histories of the Yuin nation in New South Wales, Australia, to better understand their diving practices and their passage from generation to generation, investigating abalone diving specifically."        

Munachim Amah with editorial team in Nigeria

Munachim Amah (upper right), PhD student, journalism, conducted research in Nigeria with support from the Stanley Award for International Research. His project was Reporting Marginality: News Media Representations of Poverty in Nigeria.


"I am a journalism PhD student, training to become a professor in journalism studies. This research experience was helpful for learning how to do newsroom ethnography and interviews with journalists. I had the opportunity to design my own research, field it, and revise methods when the need arose. I feel better equipped to work on my dissertation and on journal articles which are key to my growth as an academic."

Emily Finzel & Student

Emily Finzel, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received a Global Research Partnership Award for her project titled Characterizing Surface-mantle Interactions in Ancient Deepwater Successions, Northern and Central Apennines, and Italy.

“Funding provided by the Global Research Partnership Award was used to gather data to strengthen a revised NSF proposal. New partnership agreements with the University of Calgary, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the University of Parma, in Parma, Italy, were developed in tangent with the proposal application and will bolster ongoing and future collaborations among myself and my faculty contacts at those institutions.”

Eloy Barragan at COCO dance festival with Emily Trapnell

Eloy Barragán (left), associate professor in the UI Department of Dance, celebrating a successful performance of TIC TOC, which he choreographed, and which was performed by UI graduate Emily Trapnell (right) at the COCO Dance Festival in Trinidad and Tobago.  Barragán received an International Travel Award to support this effort.

"Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a student succeed and become a wonderful artist. To see Emily graduate, and thanks to the financial support, be able to bring [her] to this professional international venue, is incredible. To witness my student's performance and hear the comments of the audience complimenting her dancing was amazing."