From his medical office across West Locust Street, Richard Kreiter, MD, watched St. Ambrose grow from a compact campus of 11 buildings in 1984 to a diverse university more than twice that size today.
This summer, the 54-year-old, one-story, red-bricked building that housed Kreiter's orthopedic practice for a quarter of a century officially became a part of the university's expanding physical presence.
Located on the south side of Locust a block south of the library, the new Kreiter Hall is home to the St. Ambrose communications and marketing department as well as members of the enrollment data center and the assessment office.
The addition is significant in at least two ways, one being geography. That's because Kreiter Hall continues to advance the campus footprint south of Locust on the Davenport hilltop.
"We believe this is an important change in that it affirms our university's commitment to working toward improving and reviving Davenport's central city," said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, the president of St. Ambrose.
The university previously demonstrated that neighborly commitment through membership on the Board of Directors of the Hilltop Campus Village Corp., along with academic partnerships with hilltop businesses and service organizations. "Our physical presence south of Locust Street strengthens those efforts," said Sr. Lescinski.
Kreiter Hall also can help highlight an under-utilized means of gifting, said Sally Crino, assistant vice president for advancement gift planning and interim advancement director.
Richard Kreiter and his wife, Judy, donated the building in the fall of 2008 through a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT), a process Crino described as a "win-win" arrangement for both the donor and the recipient.
A CRAT allows the donor a one-time tax deduction as well as a guaranteed annual income from the trust. Crino stressed that all property donations are reviewed for university benefit by Vice President of Finance Mike Poster and then require approval by the board of trustees.
Crino said the university has declined property donation offers that do not fit the SAU footprint or mission, but Kreiter Hall is not the only gift of real estate from which St. Ambrose has benefited.
"They are maybe not common, but the potential is there if more people knew about them," she said. "They are a creative way people can fulfill philanthropic desires."
Philanthropy is important to the Kreiters. Judy has been a community volunteer through the years, serving on the boards of the Girl Scout Council, the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, the Handicapped Development Center and the Vera French Foundation. Richard and Judy have both been very involved in the growth and development of Camp Shalom near Maquoketa, Iowa, a Christian camp for youth and families.
Richard Kreiter felt connected to St. Ambrose as a youngster because he played football, baseball and basketball against Ambrose Academy teams. When he opened his office across the street from campus, it gave him a new appreciation for the university. He also developed a friendship with Ed Rogalski, PhD, SAU president emeritus. Eventually, Kreiter came to feel like an Ambrosian himself.
More importantly, he said of the university that is home to Kreiter Hall, "It has done so much for the community."