Thursday, July 6, 2023
man wearing black suit jacket and black and gold stripped tie

Throughout his life, CAMBUS founding member C. Douglass Couto has been a proud Hawkeye and CAMBUS alumnus. Couto (BBA72), who in recent years dedicated his philanthropy to establishing the CAMBUS Scholarship, died Thursday, June 22, 2023.  

Couto has made a lasting mark on the campus and CAMBUS is incredibly grateful for his generosity.  

Creating CAMBUS from an experiment 

In 1970, Couto and fellow members of the Associated Residence Halls came up with the idea to run a school bus between dorms. The idea became an experiment led by Couto that provided 500,000 rides in spring 1972. Today, CAMBUS provides more than 3 million rides annually and is a hallmark of the University of Iowa campus and student experience. 

“I learned how to work with people, motivate them, and align their goals with the organizational goals,” he said about his time as a driver and supervisor at CAMBUS. Couto said what he learned at CAMBUS played a significant role in his success in the U.S. Air Force and as chief information officer for the Michigan Department of Transportation. 

Doug Couto speaking at the CAMBUS 50th Anniversary Celebration

In 2022, CAMBUS celebrated its 50th anniversary with alumni attending from all decades. Couto was a guest speaker at the celebration, and he emphasized in his remarks the importance of the people that make CAMBUS possible – from the student drivers to administrators and even the university president. 

Giving back to CAMBUS 

Coming up on CAMBUS’ 50-year anniversary, Couto reflected on how proud he was that a service he helped start as a student was still in operation 50 years later, and still largely run by students. In wanting to give back to the students, he established the CAMBUS Scholarship Fund. Since 2022, the scholarship has been distributed to 15 student staff thanks to the generosity of Couto and other donors.

You can learn more about the recipients, the scholarship, and how to contribute by visiting the CAMBUS Scholarship Program page