Bill and Adele Myers scholarships encourage and inspire student employees

Bill and Adele Myers scholarships encourage and inspire student employees

Bill and Adele Myers have endowed scholarship awards for University of Northern Iowa fulltime undergraduate students who are employed in UNI dining services and majoring in management, marketing, management information systems or other major related to the food service industry. 

Bill Myers began his college career at UNI where he played football and worked as a student employee in Commons dining; his duties at the Commons included baking pies at 5 a.m.  He finished his degree at University of Illinois before launching his career in college dining services, a career path that lead to the Dining Director position at Stanford University.  He returned to the Midwest and founded a company to manage Arby’s franchises.

On a recent visit to the UNI campus, the Myers met the scholarship recipients.  The Myers learned about the students’ work and goals.  When asked for advice, Bill’s common sense approach made the luncheon memorable:

  • “Luck: You cannot find luck; it will come up when you least expect it.  I was lucky – I was fired.”  That transition lead to greater opportunities.
  • “Know your numbers.”  Though Bill trusted the people working for him, he had to accept responsibility for the financial status and progress of his companies. 
  • “The quality of your credentials will help you create opportunities. Your past will prepare you for the opportunities ahead.”  Quality work and positive personal habits have been central themes to his success.
  • “If you don’t know much about “x” (any topic), then don’t talk about it!” 
  • “Gain all you can from your coursework.”  He talked about his college speech class and the teacher who made them barge through the barriers of their comfort zone, “That communications class has been very, very useful to me.”

The positive UNI experience of Adele’s granddaughter, Kathleen Varner, prompted Myers to meet with UNI Foundation personnel who helped them connect with UNI Dining Services.

Carol Petersen, Director of Dining Services, hosted Bill and Adele Myers on their campus visit. “Students receive more than a generous scholarship from the Myers,” said Petersen.  “Bill and Adele’s gift is an encouragement and inspiration to students who learn that the Myers are sharing what they earned through years of hard work and advancement in the food service industry.”   She added, “The Myers’ authentic interest in our student employees makes this award one that is appreciated by students and the staff members who work with students.  Staff members recognize that award winners are very worthy of recognition and financial support to pursue their careers.”
Photo caption:
Adele and Bill Myers are seated in the front of the group of scholarship recipients:
From the left:
Patricia Zubrod- Food Court (previously Prexy's)
Matt Swalin-Piazza
Sydney Wilkins-Rialto
Ally Lappe-Piazza
Katie Titus-Rialto
Danielle Martens-Piazza
Bethany Chatterton-Piazza