Eugene and Mary Sukup 2011
Eugene & Mary Sukup
From the moment their eldest son stepped onto the Iowa State University campus, Eugene and Mary Sukup became avid Iowa State supporters. While neither Eugene nor Mary attended Iowa State, they purchased football season tickets during Charles Sukup’s freshman year in 1972 so they could watch him play clarinet in the Cyclone Marching Band. They have held season tickets ever since.
It was also while Charles was an agricultural engineering student at Iowa State that Eugene and Mary gave their first gift to the university – to the department of music’s organ fund. It was an unlikely contribution considering their background as owners of Sukup Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest family-owned grain bin manufacturer. Sukup’s product line includes grain dryers, farm and commercial grain bins, bucket elevators, and material conveying stations. The company has sold products in all 50 states and some 40 countries; Eugene is a member of the Iowa Inventor’s Hall of Fame and holds more than 40 patents.
Since their initial gift, Eugene and Mary have been invaluable supporters of all things Iowa State. This has included wells to provide water in Uganda through the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, the tiled roof for the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center, various agricultural engineering projects, and sponsorship for 24 years of the ISU Organists of Iowa series. In the 1970s, individual typewritten letters were sent to 150 state legislators advocating for a new music building at Iowa State, which was constructed in 1980. A recent commitment was the lead pledge for the new Cyclone basketball practice facility in west Ames, which the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, named in honor of the Sukup family.
Eugene and Mary’s support of Iowa State has also included phase two of the Biorenewables and Engineering Laboratory Complex, which will be built adjacent to Howe Hall and the College of Design. That building will be the central location for many of Iowa State’s biorenewables-related activities in research, education, and outreach, as well as home to the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering.
Eugene and Mary’s long-time support for Iowa State extends beyond financial contributions. Most of their extended family also attended Iowa State, including their sons Charles (’76, ’82 M.S., agricultural engineering) and Steve (’79 industrial engineering), and both daughters-in-law, Mary Beth (’75 home economics education) and Vicki (’79 home economics education, ’01 M.Ed.). Their six grandchildren all are Iowa Staters at heart – Nickolas (junior, industrial engineering); Crystal (‘06 sociology); Emily ('08 business management); Elizabeth (‘08 public service and administration in agriculture); Andrew (“‘Clone to the Bone”); and Jonathan (senior, agricultural engineering).
The Sukups reside in Sheffield, Iowa, and are members of the Order of the Knoll W.M. Beardshear Society and Campanile Society.