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Tom Walz Papers

Identifier: RG99.0344

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Scope and Contents

The papers include a number of his more than 75 published articles, as well as samples of his poetry. Includes a manuscript by Barry Morrow, "On My Own: A Story Based on the Life of William Sackter," as well as newspaper articles about Uptown Bill’s Small Mall, 2000-2012. Includes "Mass Media in Social Work" course curriculum and academic papers.


  • Creation: 1970 - 2010


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas H. Walz was born in Aitkin, Minnesota, in 1933. He received the BA degree magna cum laude in 1954 at St. John’s University of Collegeville, Minnesota, and the MA in Social Work at St. Louis University. He took his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, where he was hired to serve as professor. Walz accepted a position as director and professor of the University of Iowa School of Social Work in 1973, where he was director of the Gerontology Program, and served as director of the Iowa Multi-Disciplinary Gerontology Project. With his interest in writing poetry, he founded the National Writers Workshop for Social Workers. He was named an Obermann Fellow in 1997. Walz retired in 2001.

Through the School of Social Work, Walz established Wild Bill’s Coffeeshop in North Hall in 1974. The organization was named for Bill Sackter (1913-1983), a mentally challenged, friendly Iowa City resident. Sackter operated Wild Bill’s until his death, after which the organization continued to hire physically and mentally challenged adults. Walz wrote "Unlikely Celebrity: Bill Sackter's Triumph over Disability" and two films were made about Mr. Sackter’s life. Walz was founder and director in 2001 of the Extend a Dream Foundation, a nonprofit to support Uptown Bill’s Small Mall in Iowa City.

Tom Walz and his wife, Lisa, had six children. Walz died February 10, 2018.


5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the University of Iowa by Charles Walz in June 2018.

Related Materials

William "Bill" Sackter Papers (MsC1028); Center for Media Production Photo Services Images Collection (RG 30.0001.044) includes photographs of Bill Sackter in box 161; School of Social Work Records (RG 06.0035.001); Faculty Vertical File Collection (RG 01.0015.003) includes folders for Thomas H. Walz, Barry Morrow and William "Bill" Sackter; Barry Morrow's 1982 Emmy Award on permanent display in Special Collections

Four of the six books authored by Walz that were donated with the collection have been cataloged individually.

Processing Information

Processed by Denise Anderson in July 2018.

Under Revision
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242