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Giving back is second nature for Thomas and Carline Phillips

Thomas-and-Carline-inline.jpg

Thomas and Carline Phillips have always felt the need to give back to the community.

Both are graduates of East High School in Waterloo, Iowa, and are now in the school’s hall of fame. Thomas spent his career as an executive with some of the biggest international food companies, including General Foods Corp. and Quaker Oats Co. He spent his final years before retirement with DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa.

But from the time his career became successful and Carline’s education résumé grew — she has a Bachelor of Science degree from Framingham State in Massachusetts and a doctorate degree from Iowa State University — Thomas and Carline have wanted to give back.

“We were able to pay our mortgage and eat and so on, and being Christian, now is the time to give back to people that are less fortunate,” Thomas said. “Realizing that even $500 can be a huge help, whether that’s a book or whatever it is.”

Thomas, a member of the Iowa African American Hall of Fame, graduated from State College of Iowa, now the University of Northern Iowa, in 1966 with a degree in business administration. He and Carline met at State College of Iowa and married in August 1966.

Thomas’ career started in sales and marketing with General Foods Corp., where he worked for about eight years.

He then moved on to the Quaker Oats Co. in 1973 and spent the next 19 years there. He worked at DuPont Pioneer, which brought him back to Iowa, until about 2008 and has been retired ever since. Carline worked as an adjunct professor at Drake University and has been active in her community, volunteering and serving on various civic and educational boards.

But just because they are retired doesn’t mean they aren’t busy. Instead of 70-hour workweeks in the office, Thomas, along with Carline, spends a lot of time volunteering in the community and giving back to the local church.

“I’ve been working more now than when I was working,” Thomas said with a laugh. “All of this volunteering has gone on to the point where we, even today, we are talking about, we’ve got to pull back. We’re getting up in age.”

As Thomas puts it, he and Carline have been fortunate to have extra money because of his successful career in business. It was about 25 years ago that Thomas and Carline thought about giving back to universities and helping other students get through college to find their own success.

Thomas said he and Carline are big proponents of endowed scholarships, which are scholarship funds that go toward paying a student’s tuition or any other fees for school. The Phillipses have several scholarships through the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, which administers charitable funds. They also have several scholarships through the University of Northern Iowa, including one called the Dr. Carline Phillips Endowed Education Opportunity Fund.

A lot went into the decision to give back, but a big part was Thomas and Carline’s Christian faith. Thomas also had some help when he attended school in the mid-1960s. He received around $80 of help in his senior year of college, which was a large sum of money at the time.

“We’re pleased to do whatever we can do, and we believe whatever we can do is very helpful,” Thomas said. “[The gift I received in college] was significant. That was huge. I think that convinced us, if that’s the right word, that a small amount or what might sound like a small amount, can make a difference.

“We were blessed; let’s bless someone else.”

Thomas and Carline also hope their giving will inspire others to give back. Last year they received a message saying there was an individual who was interested in a one-time donation to the University of Northern Iowa. He didn’t want to create a separate scholarship, so he asked the Phillipses if he could attach his donation to their endowed scholarship.

“We said, ‘Of course, that would be wonderful,’” Thomas said. “We don’t know of him. It was just the idea that he wanted to make a contribution that excited us.”

For this academic year, that same individual donated money once again, even though he originally wanted to donate just once. Thomas’ voice beamed with pride as he explained this story, as the hope he and Carline had that their giving would inspire others seemed to come to fruition.

Thomas is also proud whenever he and Carline get a letter from a scholarship awardee. In one instance, an awardee’s parents actually sent a letter to the Phillipses expressing their thanks for how instrumental the scholarship was for their child’s education.

It makes it all worth it for the Phillipses.

“While we don’t know them or don’t know their families, it makes it more real,” Thomas said. “It’s an inspiration that this is money that is being utilized and being utilized well.”

UNIBusiness thanks Thomas and Carline Phillips for their support of University of Northern Iowa education.

Posted on 15-Mar-18


  






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Giving back is second nature for Thomas and Carline Phillips

Thomas-and-Carline-inline.jpg

Thomas and Carline Phillips have always felt the need to give back to the community.

Both are graduates of East High School in Waterloo, Iowa, and are now in the school’s hall of fame. Thomas spent his career as an executive with some of the biggest international food companies, including General Foods Corp. and Quaker Oats Co. He spent his final years before retirement with DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa.

But from the time his career became successful and Carline’s education résumé grew — she has a Bachelor of Science degree from Framingham State in Massachusetts and a doctorate degree from Iowa State University — Thomas and Carline have wanted to give back.

“We were able to pay our mortgage and eat and so on, and being Christian, now is the time to give back to people that are less fortunate,” Thomas said. “Realizing that even $500 can be a huge help, whether that’s a book or whatever it is.”

Thomas, a member of the Iowa African American Hall of Fame, graduated from State College of Iowa, now the University of Northern Iowa, in 1966 with a degree in business administration. He and Carline met at State College of Iowa and married in August 1966.

Thomas’ career started in sales and marketing with General Foods Corp., where he worked for about eight years.

He then moved on to the Quaker Oats Co. in 1973 and spent the next 19 years there. He worked at DuPont Pioneer, which brought him back to Iowa, until about 2008 and has been retired ever since. Carline worked as an adjunct professor at Drake University and has been active in her community, volunteering and serving on various civic and educational boards.

But just because they are retired doesn’t mean they aren’t busy. Instead of 70-hour workweeks in the office, Thomas, along with Carline, spends a lot of time volunteering in the community and giving back to the local church.

“I’ve been working more now than when I was working,” Thomas said with a laugh. “All of this volunteering has gone on to the point where we, even today, we are talking about, we’ve got to pull back. We’re getting up in age.”

As Thomas puts it, he and Carline have been fortunate to have extra money because of his successful career in business. It was about 25 years ago that Thomas and Carline thought about giving back to universities and helping other students get through college to find their own success.

Thomas said he and Carline are big proponents of endowed scholarships, which are scholarship funds that go toward paying a student’s tuition or any other fees for school. The Phillipses have several scholarships through the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, which administers charitable funds. They also have several scholarships through the University of Northern Iowa, including one called the Dr. Carline Phillips Endowed Education Opportunity Fund.

A lot went into the decision to give back, but a big part was Thomas and Carline’s Christian faith. Thomas also had some help when he attended school in the mid-1960s. He received around $80 of help in his senior year of college, which was a large sum of money at the time.

“We’re pleased to do whatever we can do, and we believe whatever we can do is very helpful,” Thomas said. “[The gift I received in college] was significant. That was huge. I think that convinced us, if that’s the right word, that a small amount or what might sound like a small amount, can make a difference.

“We were blessed; let’s bless someone else.”

Thomas and Carline also hope their giving will inspire others to give back. Last year they received a message saying there was an individual who was interested in a one-time donation to the University of Northern Iowa. He didn’t want to create a separate scholarship, so he asked the Phillipses if he could attach his donation to their endowed scholarship.

“We said, ‘Of course, that would be wonderful,’” Thomas said. “We don’t know of him. It was just the idea that he wanted to make a contribution that excited us.”

For this academic year, that same individual donated money once again, even though he originally wanted to donate just once. Thomas’ voice beamed with pride as he explained this story, as the hope he and Carline had that their giving would inspire others seemed to come to fruition.

Thomas is also proud whenever he and Carline get a letter from a scholarship awardee. In one instance, an awardee’s parents actually sent a letter to the Phillipses expressing their thanks for how instrumental the scholarship was for their child’s education.

It makes it all worth it for the Phillipses.

“While we don’t know them or don’t know their families, it makes it more real,” Thomas said. “It’s an inspiration that this is money that is being utilized and being utilized well.”

UNIBusiness thanks Thomas and Carline Phillips for their support of University of Northern Iowa education.

Posted on 15-Mar-18







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Maintained by UNIBusiness webmaster
Copyright ©2011 by University of Northern Iowa College of Business Administration