Donor Profile: Craig and Virginia Petermeier
AMES, Iowa - To a young teenage boy, college football players seem larger than life. But when Craig Petermeier was 13-years-old, Cyclone football player Lawrence “Big Daddy” Hunt visited Petermeier’s hometown of Baxter, Iowa. It was Petermeier’s first exposure to Cyclone athletics and it left a long-standing impression, one that still resonates today.
Since then, nearly 40 years later, he has grown into a full-fledged Iowa State fan, a true loyalist of the cardinal and gold. Petermeier’s wife Virginia is also a Cyclone fanatic and is often the most intense fan of the family.
“My wife is as big of an Iowa State fan as there is,” said Petermeier. “She is probably even more rabid than me.
To demonstrate their appreciation and love of the Cyclones, the Petermeiers recently donated to the athletic facilities campaign. Today, the Petermeiers are being recognized for helping the athletics department “Take the Next Big Step” with their generous donation of $500,000 to the athletic facilities campaign.
As a teenager, Petermeier’s budding attention to the Cyclones grew as many of his Baxter High School peers chose to attend ISU. But Petermeier wanted to try and play college football, so he instead attended Marshalltown Community College. At the completion of his two years at MCC, Petermeier knew exactly where he was headed next: Iowa State University.
While at ISU, Petermeier worked toward degrees in marketing/logistics and later accounting. Upon his graduation, Petermeier began working as a CPA in Des Moines. In 1983, three years later, he joined The Jacobson Companies which then had 25 employees. Today he is the company’s CEO with over 6,000 employees. In addition, Petermeier is the Chairman of the ISU College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council and serves on other various boards and organizations.
Petermeier credits his success to his Iowa State diploma. Because Iowa State created countless opportunities for Petermeier, he and Virginia want to help ISU do the same for current and future students and student-athletes.
“It’s meant everything to me,” Petermeier said. “My college experience and degree opened doors to get us where Virginia and I are today.”
The Petermeiers are National Cyclone Club and Alumni Association members. They also supported the Bergstrom Indoor Facility capital campaign and have been season ticket holders for over 25 years, so increasing their current support of the athletic department seemed natural.
“Athletics are actually a very big part of our social life, so it seemed like an easy thing to do,” said Petermeier.
The Petermeiers have two children. Lindsay will graduate from Iowa State in December and Jonathan is a senior at Baxter High School.
Here are a few questions we had for the Petermeier family
Q: When was your first ISU event?
A: Craig attended his first in 1974 and Virginia started in 1981.
Q: What was your most memorable game that you attended?
A: It would have to be the Lafester Rhodes game against Iowa in 1987. Another game that we enjoyed was the Sweet Sixteen basketball game in 1986 down in Kansas City.
Q: What was your favorite road trip?
A: The game down in Kemper Arena for Johnny Orr’s 1986 Sweet Sixteen team.
Q: Do you have any favorite players that you enjoyed watching compete?
A: I remember that 1986 squad the best. Jeff Grayer, Jeff Hornacek, Barry Stevens, there were so many good players on that team. I always said “there will never be another Jeff Grayer”. Then came along Fred Hoiberg, there are just so many players we’ve enjoyed throughout the years.