Atanasoff Today 2022-23: Remembering Wayne Ostendorf

On June 1, 2022, Wayne Oran Ostendorf passed peacefully at Mill Pond Community in Ankeny, Iowa. He lived 87 wonderful years celebrating faith, family, farming, fishing, fitness and friendships.

Wayne lived a lifelong journey with ISU as a professor, university administrator, leader, volunteer and loyal & true fan. As Director of the Administrative Data Processing (ADP) Center and as a Computer Science Department faculty member, Wayne provided a leadership role in the development of technology for student records, human resources, alumni, extension and financial systems for Iowa State. 

Wayne became a member of the computer science faculty in 1967 as an assistant professor and taught a variety of computer science classes. He was promoted to associate professor in 1972  and served until 2000. In his role as professor he emphasized the use of academic models as they applied to actual business environments. He served on several departmental committees and was chair of the Computer Science Equipment  Committee from 1988 to 2000. He acted as an advisor for several non-thesis MS degree students as well as PhD degree program students from 1972 to 1982. He was elected to the Cardinal Key Honorary in 1976, received the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Membership in 1980, and the Outstanding University Academic Advisor Award in 1983.

Ostendorf was also active on many other university committees including, but not limited to, the Faculty Workload, Alumni Honors and Awards, University Extension Review, Total Quality Management Steering, and the Academic Affairs Computer Advisory Committees. He also served on several university-wide search committees.

Wayne passionately served in community organizations and often held leadership positions. He was particularly fond of Ames Town & Country Kiwanis and their work with Ames High School’s Key Club as well as the Aktion Club. 

Professionally, Wayne was a founding and active member of CUMREC (College and University Machine Records Conference) from 1960 to  2000 and received the Frank Martin Service Award. He was a member and leader of CAUSE (College and University Systems Exchange) and the Central Iowa DPMA (Data Processing Management Association).

But he was perhaps most loved and known for creating a family atmosphere and positive team spirit with work. He worked hard and made work fun. He loved the people and energy of campus life, running or playing basketball every noon lunch break, the Carillon Bells and the aura of academia on a truly gorgeous campus.

If you are interested in helping us memorialize Wayne and his legacy in our department, please reach out to