The first annual Monroe Colston Scholarship Dinner is themed "Character: The Measure of the Man." It will pay tribute to Monroe's extraordinary example of leadership and character with the presentation of a new award, the "AIB College of Business Monroe Colston Scholar."
This dinner will feature keynote speaker Jim Autry, a noted author, poet, consultant and former Fortune 500 executive. Proceeds from the event benefit the Monroe Colston Diversity Scholarship program at AIB College of Business.
Monroe Colston was a former real estate commissioner for the state of Iowa and consultant to the Greater Des Moines Foundation, serving as its president in the 1990s. He also was a longtime executive of the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Federation and served on an extensive list of boards and councils.
An instrumental figure in the civil rights movement in Des Moines, he was the first African American member of the Bankers Trust Board, and he and his wife were the first African Americans to purchase a home in Urbandale and to become members of Wakonda Club. He also was a member of the Iowa African American Hall of Fame.
Monroe was a huge supporter of AIB College of Business. He had a passion for higher education for all students, but particularly minority students. In 1993, AIB created the Monroe Colston Diversity Scholarship in his honor, and it now offers up to 30 Monroe Colston Diversity Scholarships per academic year to incoming students who are from diverse backgrounds and are U.S. residents.