Parents of the Year
Each year during Family Weekend, the university shines a spotlight on two of the many outstanding parents who support their sons and daughters as students at the University of Iowa through the annual Mom and Dad of the Year awards. Students submit nominations each autumn. Honorees are chosen by two student honors societies, Mortar Board and Omicron Delta Kappa, based on personal achievements and dedication to family.
Mom of the Year
Tammy Taylor of Callender, Iowa
The 2013 Mom of the Year is Tammy Taylor of Callender, Iowa, nominated by her sons Travis, a graduate student in rehabilitation and mental health counseling, and Brayton, a sophomore studying finance and entrepreneurship. She also has a third son. They claim that their mother has served as the “glue” of their family, especially during difficult times.
When Travis became a quadriplegic in 2010, she offered steadfast support. Travis wrote, “My mom stood by my side throughout the whole process, encouraging me along the wild roller coaster ride. There were many ups and downs, and throughout each down she was right there to guide me along the right track.” When tragedy struck again with the death of Tammy’s husband and the students’ father, Tammy remained faithful and gave her family the courage and strength needed to deal with the loss.
Dad of the Year
Willie Delfs of Sioux City, Iowa
The 2013 Dad of the Year is Willie Delfs of Sioux City, Iowa, nominated by his daughter Jennifer Streeter, a 2004 UI graduate and current medical and doctoral student. Delfs endured a difficult childhood due to having a father with mental illness, but persevered to help shepherd to adulthood his five siblings and, later, his own five children.
He was a hands-on father who imparted valuable life lessons: “the importance of working hard, spending time with family, and helping others,” Streeter wrote. Among his varied community service work is serving as president of Siouxland Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for families in need, and volunteering as event coordinator for Siouxland Sleep Out, an organization that raises funds and awareness to help eradicate homelessness.