New Gifts to BVU Benefit Academic Program and Athletic Facilities Renovation

Buena Vista University has announced two significant gifts that will have an impact on academic programs and campus athletic facilities.

The donors and their gifts are:


Dr. Ed Bodaken

Dr. Ed Bodaken, Class of 1962, and his wife, Jennifer, have endowed The Bodaken Communication Studies Award, which will support and develop greater student and faculty collaborative research, as well as travel stipends for faculty to enhance their individual research and research with students. He has been a member of the BVU Board of Trustees since 2006.

Bodaken had previously endowed the George M. Bodaken and L.J. (Pete) Zubradt Communications Scholarship in memory of his father and the father of his first wife, DeAnn. Bodaken had owned Bodaken Associates, which specialized in jury research and persuasion strategies. In 1997, he sold his highly successful company to Forensics Technology International, and continued as a consultant with the firm until he retired in 2000.


Cordell and Sandra Peterson

Cordell Peterson, Class of 1963, and his wife, Sandra, have provided a lead gift commitment for the renovation of the football and track facilities to include synthetic turf and lighting that would also accommodate soccer. Peterson, who is president of Peterson Contractors, Inc. of Reinbeck, has been a member of the Board since 1999.

Three years ago, the Petersons provided the lead gift for renovation of the baseball and softball fields located at the Storm Lake High School athletic complex, which included synthetic turf for the baseball infield. The fields are used jointly by BVU and the Storm Lake Community School District.

“The generosity of Ed Bodaken and Cordell Peterson is going to have a significant impact on students in communications studies and in our athletics program,” says BVU President Fred Moore. “The Petersons’ commitment will also enable us to pursue additional philanthropic partners with a goal of starting the renovation in the very near future.”

The announcement follows the gift pledges announced last week for students in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business. Those pledges, which have a total endowed impact of $1.1 million, created the “Clifford A. Rae Academic Achievement Awards” for high performing business students with financial need, and a challenge gift for development of value-added entrepreneurial and leadership skills and opportunities for business students. The pledges were from charitable foundations established by the late Dr. Siebens.


Delwin and Meda Otteman

Earlier this year, BVU also announced endowments provided through the estate of Delwin and Meda Otteman. One endowment will support students studying in the School of Science, with preference toward medically related research and internships. The second major endowment supports research and internships for students in other academic disciplines.

Del Otteman, who attended Buena Vista, and Meda, a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College, retired from farming in the Albert City area in 1992 and moved to Storm Lake where Meda began a 30-year career as an interior designer.