Inaugural Family Spirit Award received by Maquoketa, Iowa family

During halftime at Saturday’s football game, the Osterhaus family received the inaugural Family Spirit Award from the UI Center for Advancement.

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

With 46 family members in attendance for Family Weekend, the Osterhaus family proved how important family spirit is.

On Nov. 10, during halftime of the Iowa-Northwestern football game, the Osterhaus family were awarded the inaugural Family Spirit Award for their contributions to the UI.

The award was created by the Center for Advancement to recognize the families and friends who have given to the UI through volunteering their time and financial support. The family selected also must have three generations of graduates from the university.

“We recognize families and friends of our great university and thought this was a really nice way to celebrate the spirit that our alumni have,” said Kate Sojka, the director of educational programs in the Center for Advancement.

The UI recognizes that some supporters of the university aren’t necessarily graduates, Sojka said. That’s why the award is also referred to as the Family and Friends Spirit Award.

The Osterhaus family have given to the UI by providing internships over the years in their pharmacy, located in Maquoketa, Iowa. They have also supported students through scholarships and mentorships, as well as served on boards in the colleges, Sojka said.

When they found out their family would receive the inaugural award, they were happy but surprised, said Matt Osterhaus, a second-generation UI alum and current operator of Osterhaus Pharmacy.

“We grew up watching Iowa sports,” he said. “From football to cross-country, we supported it all.”

The family’s residency/internship program for pharmacy students helps to prepare them for the start of their profession, he said, noting that the experience working in the pharmacy will provide students a solid foundation for their future.

When looking for interns, they want people with caring attitudes, Matt Osterhaus said. They care about their community and want to help them the best they can through their pharmacy and expect their interns do the same, he said.

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Bob Osterhaus bought the pharmacy in 1965 and operated it for 30 years before Matt Osterhaus and his wife, Marilyn Slee Osterhaus, began operating it.

Bob and Matt both served as president of the Iowa Pharmacy Association as well as the American Pharmacists Association.

When he graduated from the UI in 1952, it had prepared him to practice pharmacy for more than 50 years, said Bob Osterhaus, a first-generation UI alum.

The family believe giving to the university is part of showing appreciation for the education received as students. Through investing in the UI, it provides opportunities for the next generation of students, he said.

The family have mentored students for years and teaching them that if it’s not good for the patient, it’s not good for pharmacy, Bob said.

The College of Pharmacy is constructing a new building and naming a room the Bob O. Porch in honor of Bob Osterhaus, Sojka said. This room will be a safe, friendly space for people to share their views.

“We think it’s wonderful and we’re very proud of our family,” Bob said. “It’s not any one of us that earned this recognition, it’s the whole bunch. I think if you meet us, you’d be pleased.”