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Jim Hall Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients Recognized

May 25, 2012

Robert (Rob) Jacobs of Hartley, and John Wittneben of Estherville, were presented the Jim Hall Outstanding Alumni Award during Iowa Lakes Community College’s spring commencement Friday, May 11, by Institutional Advancement Executive Director, Jolene Rogers.

Established in 1992, this award memorializes Jim Hall, a 1968 Iowa Lakes graduate and strong supporter of the college. Selected annually by the Iowa Lakes Alumni & Friends Association, this award honors graduates who exemplify outstanding support of community, business and/or service clubs and serve as role models. 

Robert Jacobs is a 1985 Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Ag Business program. His first job after college was mixing and applying fertilizer, soil sampling and various other duties as assigned at the Farm Service in Melvin. Currently he is the General Manager of the Cooperative Elevator Association in Hartley. He and his wife, Geri, have three daughters. Jacobs’ list of community and professional accomplishments are testament to his commitment to the agriculture profession and leading by example. Jacobs is active in his community and donates time and energy to various organizations. 

John Wittneben completed his Associate in Arts degree at Iowa Lakes in 1975 before transferring to Iowa State. He worked twelve years in the natural gas pipeline industry before returning to Iowa and becoming a Professional Licensed Land Surveyor. Since 2001 he has operated his own business, Wittneben Land Surveying, and renovates houses when time permits. Among his accomplishments is recognition as the 2007 Estherville Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. Currently, he represents District 7 in the Iowa House in Des Moines. 

 “Both of these gentlemen exemplify community support, service and are shining examples of the value of education,” stated Jolene Rogers, Institutional Advancement Executive Director at Iowa Lakes. “We are pleased to recognize Rob and John for their dedication and commitment to the college and the community – as well as being a tremendous role model for Iowa Lake’s graduates as they embark on their own journey.” 

The Iowa Lakes Alumni & Friends Association congratulates these two men as they join the ranks of outstanding alumni. The entire group of recipients may be viewed on the perpetual Jim Hall Outstanding Alumni Award plaque in the Estherville campus gym lobby or on the Iowa Lakes website.

Nominations for the Jim Hall Outstanding Alumni Award may be mailed to the Iowa Lakes Alumni & Friends Association at: 19 South Seventh Street; Estherville, Iowa 51334; or submitted online by visiting, clicking on Alumni & Friends then Jim Hall Outstanding Alumni Award. For more information, contact Institutional Advancement Executive Director Jolene Rogers at 712-362-0491 or 800-242-5106 ext. 4491, or email

Left to right: Jolene Rogers, John Wittneben, and Robert Jacobs
Left to right: Jolene Rogers, John Wittneben, and Robert Jacobs
For More Information:

 Iowa Lakes Institutional Advancement Office at 712-362-0491

Questions or comments? Please email us at or call 712-362-2604 or 800-521-5054.
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