Casey’s General Stores founder and longtime Chairman/CEO Don Lamberti is donating $2.9 million to establish the Donald F. and Charlene K. Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship at Buena Vista University, Gov. Kim Reynolds and BVU President Joshua Merchant announced at Gravitate Coworking on Wednesday evening. 

The Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship will host programming to provide students and professionals opportunities to sharpen skills while aiding each other with a shared goal of moving rural America forward, BVU said in a news release. Don Lamberti is a longtime member of the BVU board of trustees who developed his first convenience store into a publicly traded enterprise. Casey’s now employs nearly 15,000 in more than 2,000 stores. 

The Lamberti gift and a separate, anonymous $500,000 donation, will allow BVU to develop a minor in rural entrepreneurship available to all students. 

“Don and Charlene Lamberti are two Iowans who have made their mark on our state and its communities,” Reynolds said. “Putting a visionary entrepreneur like Don Lamberti together with an academic leader like Buena Vista University, both champions of rural Iowa, can’t help but create a world of new opportunities for people of all ages across Iowa.”