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Release: Immediate

Scholarship initiative is key to raising $27 million for UI student financial aid

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Gifts and future commitments of nearly $27 million for student financial aid were made to the University of Iowa Foundation in 1995 and 1996, through a concentrated effort to raise scholarship funds during the UI's 150th anniversary celebration.

The total includes 55 new endowed Sesquicentennial Scholarships, which were established to assist students who demonstrate academic merit and financial need. Also included are gifts to numerous scholarships to benefit students in each of the university's colleges.

The two-year total includes outright gifts of $10.6 million, and $16.3 million in bequests, trusts, pledges, and other gifts to be received in future years.

"Generous gifts to this scholarship initiative link the legacy of our past to future generations of UI students," UI President Mary Sue Coleman said. "These funds continue and extend the tradition of providing financial aid for dedicated students, and this record amount raised for scholarships is a strong beginning to our next 150 years of excellence."

Each Sesquicentennial Scholarship is based on an endowment of $30,000 and provides an annual $1,500 award for an undergraduate student. Recipients are selected by the UI Office of Financial Aid; most of the scholarships will be awarded for the first time during the 1997-98 school year.

Among the 55 new Sesquicentennial Scholarships are several named scholarship funds, which were created through:

* A bequest of more than $1.4 million from the estate of William W. Smith of Cedar Rapids. Smith received his J.D. degree in 1937 from the UI. His bequest will support 44 Sesquicentennial Scholarships.

* A $100,000 gift of stock from Jack and Jackie Roland of Cedar Rapids. The Roland family endowment will provide three Sesquicentennial Scholarships.

* A $60,000 pledge from the UI Parents Association to support two scholarships. The first Parents Association scholarships were awarded to freshmen Jeffrey Riley of Fort Dodge and Christopher Scheer of El Paso, Ill., for the 1996-97 academic year.

* A gift from the University of Iowa Alumni Association. Support from the Alumni Association will fund two scholarships.

* Proceeds from sales of a print of the UI's Old Capitol by artist P. Buckley Moss will fund one scholarship.

"These new scholarships reflect the UI's long-term commitment to student aid. Gifts from alumni and friends of the university continue to expand our financial aid resources and will support students for years to come," said Mark Warner, UI director of student financial aid.

Jeff Emrich, the Foundation's director of development for student financial aid, said he was pleased with the response from alumni and friends to this special sesquicentennial project. "The students who receive the scholarships are a tribute to the UI. Students have helped the UI build a top-notch reputation over the past 150 years. These Sesquicentennial Scholarship recipients will carry on that tradition."

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide scholarships and other forms of support for students and faculty at the UI.