Founding president of Iowa Western college dies


August 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – The founding president of Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs has died.  Robert Looft was 87.  Bill Cutler, of the Cutler-O’Neill mortuary in Council Bluffs, said Wednesday that Looft died Monday at a nursing home in Council Bluffs.  Looft’s daughter Diane Machmuller said that her father had been ill for a couple of years.

Looft began his work at the college in 1966, after he’d been awarded a doctorate from Iowa State University. He pushed hard for Iowa Western’s development at a hillside location on the east side of Council Bluffs. The school continued to grow after he left in 1987. Carl Heinrich, who succeeded Looft, says Looft possessed intelligence, vision and creativity. Heinrich says it was an honor to have known Looft.