Stanley, Cornick to be honored
The Parsons Wall of Honor ceremony is only a few days away, and the college’s alumni association and foundation board hopes to see alumni, friends and family at the main event, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.
In addition to the ceremony, a weekend of fun activities starts at 3 p.m. Friday at the Fairfield Golf & Country Club — preregistration is recommended.
For more information, contact Dave Neff, president of the Parsons College Foundation Fund at 919-4640.
The Ledger will feature two of the 10 honorees each day in the lead up to the ceremony. Today, Jeffrey Stanley and Jim Cornick are honored.
Jeffrey Stanley ’64
“I successfully majored in history and sociology, was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and [Where The Boys Are], was lettered on the Wildcats golf team, had a charge card at Gobble’s Clothing Store, drank Brandy Alexander at the country club [and] met a helluva lot of great people — and had a helluva lot of good times,” Stanley described his experiences as a Parsons College student more than 50 years ago.
Today, Stanley is the owner and proprietor of Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry in downtown Madison, Wisconsin — a successful establishment that Stanley started 10 years after he graduated from Parsons.
Dotty Dumplings was named “Best Burger in the Big 10” by USA Today, it’s been rated by Trip Advisor as the “No. 1 Joint in Madison for a Dining Experience,” it’s been featured in the New York Times and was also included in a book titled, “1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die,” by English food writer Jennie Linford.
Additionally, the restaurant has received its share of local appreciation, winning the “Best Burger in Madison” 30 times by Isthmus Magazine; Madison Magazine; The Badger Herald and The Daily Cardinal.
However, Stanley wasn’t successful right out of the gate. After failed attempts at a career in retailing, and owning an eclectic gift shop in Des Moines, he took the Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry name to Madison and opened what he called a “burger hut.”
It wasn’t long before his business took off from a small grill with only 10 stools, to a thriving restaurant with a unique “boutique-ish” flair. Stanley was later forced to move from his location in 2001 through eminent domain due to the development of a culture center; but he experienced tremendous community support, and was able to re-open Dotty’s just two years later. What was once a 10-stool hamburger joint, flourished into an 86-seat establishment. Dotty’s 2016 projected sales figures are at $2 million.
Stanley and Dotty’s are affiliated with and donate to various charities including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Gio’s Garden, which is a therapeutic respite center for children, Aldo Leopold Nature Center Children’s Camp and River Rood Pantry.
Stanley currently lives in Madison and he also spends time in Florida. He describes himself as happily single, twice divorced with three daughters, two sons and eight grandchildren.
Biff Kummer will present Stanley to the Wall of Honor.
James Cornick ’65
A 1965 graduate of Parsons College, Cornick was born in Fairfield and raised on a dairy and hog farm. He attended Parsons after graduation from Fairfield High School. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree, Cornick made his way to Chicago, securing a role as a sales representative with an oil company. However, it wasn’t long before he made his way back to Iowa, and his agricultural roots.
In 1967, Cornick worked for the Des Moines based Meredith Corporation. He started out as a field-merchandising representative for the firm’s Successful Farming Magazine. After working in numerous sales, marketing and management roles for the company, Cornick rose to the top, becoming the 100-year-old magazine’s sixth publisher.
Throughout his career, Cornick remained active in the National Agri-Marketing Association. In 1990, NAMA recognized him as its National Agricultural Communicator of the Year. Cornick later served as the president of Iowa’s NAMA chapter. In 2001, he was inducted into Iowa NAMA’s Hall of Fame.
Also during his 35-year career at Meredith, Cornick served on the National Future Farmers of America Board. He received an honorary FFA farmer degree. Cornick was a member of the business advisory board of the National Association of Conservation District’s in Washington, D.C., and he was the past president of the Agricultural Publishers Association.
While at Parsons, Cornick belonged to the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He credits his college education as having played a large role in preparing him for the business world. Cornick said he’s grateful to have gone through the tedious and tumultuous times, which Parsons endured in the early-mid 1960s. He looks back on those innovative, creative and diversified times as the catalyst for producing a “Challenging climate for us to grow. We not only learned, but we learned to think outside the box, and we were exposed to a worldwide culture of people and events. Parsons was decades ahead of the times verses the traditional colleges," Cornick concluded.
After fully retiring from Meredith in 2011, Cornick jumped into working on the Iowa 4-H Foundation board of trustees. He's been president of the Des Moines Club, former board member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization, was a founder of Iowa's popular DAM to DAM Running Event, and for 15 years, he made time to contribute as a certified Iowa high school baseball official.
With the recent lost of his son, Cornick become an active spokesman and advocate for raising awareness toward the evaluation, treatment and care of those suffering with mental illness. He is currently on the Iowa Mental Health Planning Council and is a member of the Polk County Health Services board.
Cornick is married to Sue Ann Roxbury; they have two sons, Patrick and the late Jeffrey, and have lived in Des Moines for nearly 50 years.
Cornick’s former classmate, Don Samuelson will present him to the Wall of Honor.