Distinguished Alumni Award

Robert R. Shreck 71BS, 74MD

2013 Service Award

Robert R. "Bob" Shreck, 71BS, 74MD, is a first-rate oncologist and hematologist who has blazed trails in the world of medicine—and inspired future generations of Iowa physicians to follow in his footsteps.

A loyal Hawkeye through and through, Shreck completed his undergraduate studies in science education at the University of Iowa before entering the U.S. Army. While stationed in Vietnam, he handcrafted an application to the only medical school he wanted to attend: the UI. After graduating from Iowa in 1974, Shreck completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Utah.

He returned to his hometown of Des Moines and in 1979 successfully established a solo practice that eventually became Medical Oncology and Hematology Associates, which encompasses 16 board-certified oncologists and serves all the Des Moines hospitals. In the last 30 years, the group has established 29 community oncology clinics, including 16 founded by Shreck. Such outreach, involving nearly half the cancer cases diagnosed in Iowa, enables patients to receive modern cancer care in their home communities. The weekly pro bono oncology clinic Shreck established at Broadlawns Medical Center in 1979, and which he attended for 19 years, also continues today.

A tireless teacher, researcher, and consultant, Shreck maintains strong ties with his alma mater. For more than 30 years, he has provided clinical training to students and residents in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine as a member of its volunteer, community-based faculty, and he has collaborated in UI clinical trials to help identify new discoveries and treatments for the care and cure of cancer.

Also a steadfast university partner, Shreck has served on a variety of UI committees, providing valuable insight and leadership to the UI Carver College of Medicine Alumni Advisory Board, the Abboud Chair Campaign Steering Committee, the UI Health Care Medical Center Council, and as the College of Medicine representative on the UI Alumni Association Board of Directors. More recently, he and his wife, Cherie, became members of the steering committee for UI Health Care's ambitious fundraising initiative, Iowa First: Our Campaign for Breakthrough Medicine.

Along with gifts of time and knowledge, the Shrecks have financially contributed to Iowa nearly every year since Robert Shreck's graduation. When they recently established an endowed student scholarship in the Carver College of Medicine, they challenged others to follow their lead, motivating another donor to establish a scholarship gift. Such visionary support earned the Shrecks membership in the UI Foundation Presidents Club, which recognizes the university's most generous philanthropists.

It is not surprising that Shreck's peers refer to him as "a role model for giving back" and "the quintessential alum." His connection to the university is a family tradition; not only was his father a UI graduate, but his wife, sister, and two of his children are Iowa alumni as well.

Robert "Bob" Shreck's "black and gold" loyalty has meant the world to countless UI students, faculty, and patients, and he is one of the university's greatest champions and ambassadors.

Shreck is a member of the UI Alumni Association's Directors' Club Honor Circle and the UI Foundation's Presidents Club.

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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Iowa alumni with shared connections are invited to join an affinity group. Some of these organizations are an extension of student interests, like Alumni Band or Dance Marathon Alumni Group.

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