Distinguished Alumni Award

Robert Mitchell (62BA)

2023 Service Award

Bob Mitchell is renowned across Iowa for his human resources expertise as well as a lifetime of volunteerism to UI alumni organizations, Kiwanis, and other endeavors near and dear to his heart.

Mitchell is president of Bob Mitchell and Associates, a human resources and management consulting firm. Before that, he was a human resources professional in education and financial services and co-founded a nationally recognized job fair sponsored by Iowa’s state universities. A longtime member of the Polk County I-Club, Mitchell served on the UI Alumni Advisory Board and Alumni Leadership Council. He was named 1999 Co-Volunteer of the Year for his service.

Mitchell has channeled considerable energy into the Des Moines Kiwanis Club for more than 35 years. Most notably, he led a campaign to develop the Kiwanis Miracle League at Principal Park—an accessible facility where children and adults with disabilities can enjoy playing baseball. Opened in 2000, it was the first of its kind in Iowa. It has since hosted hundreds of games at which Mitchell can be found doing whatever requires attention. 

“Bob makes sure every kid on every team in every game feels like a baseball player,” says Jeff Pierson, a fellow Kiwanis Club member. He also notes that Mitchell always thanks everyone involved for their contributions to the organization.

Mitchell was a Kiwanis Distinguished Governor of the Nebraska-Iowa District, and for his longtime service received the organization’s Legion of Honor Award. Mitchell has also supported the West Des Moines Library Friends Foundation and the Society for Human Resource Management. He was inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2009.

About Distinguished Alumni Awards

Since 1963, the University of Iowa has annually recognized accomplished alumni and friends with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Awards are presented in seven categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty, Staff, Recent Graduate, and Friend of the University.

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