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UI Foundation News
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Release: Immediate

Endowed chair created by $1 million gift to UI College of Law

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A generous gift to the Iowa Law School Foundation has created a new endowed faculty chair in the University of Iowa College of Law.

The Orville L. and Ermina D. Dykstra Chair in Federal Income Tax Law was established with a stock gift of $1 million from Orville and Ermina Dykstra of Walnut Creek, Calif.

The Dykstras are graduates of Central College in Pella. Orville Dykstra earned his J.D. degree from the UI College of Law in 1936.

From 1942 to 1957 Orville Dykstra was a senior partner at Dykstra, Swift, and Brown in Des Moines, specializing in income tax law. During the 1940s he was instrumental in organizing annual conferences for the Iowa State Bar Association Tax School, established in 1939 for Iowa lawyers and held each December in Des Moines.

Dykstra later became financial vice president and treasurer for Utah International Inc. in San Francisco, retiring in 1971.

Dykstra said, "I have always felt an obligation to give something back to the UI College of Law because I owe my accomplishments and success to my legal education. We established the chair to make sure students studying law at Iowa will continue to have the opportunities to obtain the quality of legal education, or better, that my classmates and I did."

The Dykstras, who have contributed to programs in the law school for more than 35 years, will be honored at a College of Law recognition dinner on Saturday, April 19. N. William Hines, dean of the College of Law, said the Dykstra chair will enable the college to retain or recruit an outstanding scholar and professor in federal tax law.

"We're extremely grateful for the generous support from Orville and Ermina Dykstra," said Hines. "Endowed faculty positions such as the Dykstra chair recognize the outstanding teaching and scholarship of our best faculty members and contribute to our status as one of the top law schools in the nation."

The Dykstras' endowment is the largest leadership gift received to date for the forthcoming endowment campaign for the UI College of Law, according to Charles M. Kierscht, campaign chair and member of the Iowa Law School Foundation board. The campaign will be formally announced by the Iowa Law School Foundation in October 1998. The early phase of the campaign is currently under way.

"We deeply appreciate the Dykstras' gift and hope the college's alumni and friends will be inspired by their generosity to help make the UI law school campaign a success," said Kierscht, who earned his J.D. degree in 1962 from the UI and is former chairman, president and CEO of Kemper Financial Services, Inc.

Kierscht said that in addition to support for endowed faculty chairs and professorships, the campaign priorities include enhancements for endowed merit and need-based scholarships, the law library and technological resources, and program development such as funding for student law journals and the International and Comparative Law Program.

The Iowa Law School Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private gifts to the University of Iowa College of Law. The foundation works with alumni, friends, law firms and corporations to assist them in providing support to the college's students, faculty and programs.

The University of Iowa Foundation, the UI's campus-wide fund-raising organization, serves as channel of support to the Iowa Law School Foundation by providing professional and technical support services.