Home Alumni Drake benefactor Bill Knapp receives Iowa’s highest citizen honor

Drake benefactor Bill Knapp receives Iowa’s highest citizen honor

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Bill Knapp


benefactor Bill Knapp receives Iowa’s highest citizen honor


Trustee Emeritus Bill Knapp recently received the Iowa Award, the state’s

highest citizen honor, in recognition of his service accomplishments within the

Des Moines community, the state of Iowa

and the United States. He accepted the award last weekend at a ceremony held at the State



the event, the heads of

Drake University, Casey’s General Stores and the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon

Foundation praised Knapp’s business acumen, his philanthropic efforts and his

contributions to the community.


no exaggeration to say that Bill Knapp and his family represent the best in

Iowa values,” said Iowa Gov. Chet Culver.


founder of Iowa Realty and Knapp Properties Inc., is the 21st person to receive the Iowa Award since it

was founded by Iowa Gov. Robert D. Blue in 1948. The award was created to

encourage and recognize the outstanding service of Iowans in the fields of

science, medicine, law, religion, social welfare, education, agriculture,

industry, government and other public service.

“For me, Bill Knapp is

an emblem of all that is good and special about this State –someone from

modest beginnings who worked hard and tirelessly to educate himself, to serve

his country and ultimately to build several exemplary business

enterprises,” said Drake President David Maxwell. “He then committed

all that he had achieved and learned in service to his community. I think Bill

is superbly deserving of the distinctive recognition of the Iowa Award.”

A lifetime commitment to community service and


After two years in the United

States Navy and graduating from the American Institute of Business, Knapp

founded Iowa Realty in 1952 and gradually built the company into the state’s premier

real estate company. He formed Knapp Properties Inc. in 1992 to continue the

development and management of his business.

In recognition of his philanthropy, Knapp has received the Variety Club

of Iowa’s Humanitarian Award, the Mid-Iowa Council-Boy Scouts of America Distinguished

Iowa Citizen Award and the Des Moines Real Estate Board’s Citizen of the Year

award for community service and leadership.

Knapp served on the Drake Board of Trustees from 1976 to 2006. In 1992, he received the Drake University Distinguished Service

Medal — Drake’s highest honor — in recognition of his dedication to the

University, and, in 2008, he was honored with the designation of trustee emeritus,

an honor granted only to a very few trustees who have served the University

with distinction.

He also has been a major financial benefactor of the University. Thanks

to his generous support, Drake completed the William C. Knapp Center in 1992,

which was named in his honor. The Roger Knapp Tennis Center was named in honor

of Knapp’s late son, who served as the Drake men’s tennis coach from 1989 to