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Release: Immediate

$1.4 million bequest will fund liberal arts scholarships for UI students

IOWA CITY -- A $1.4 million gift from the estate of University of Iowa graduate F. Evelyn McMeans to the University of Iowa Foundation will fund scholarships for students in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

McMeans was born in Fredericksburg, Iowa, in 1912. She attended Cornell College, Mount Vernon, for two years, then transferred to the University of Iowa. She joined Delta Zeta sorority and was a member of the women's field hockey team. She received a bachelor's degree in science education in 1932.

"We will be very pleased to honor Miss McMeans and her parents through the establishment of this generous scholarship fund," said Judith Aikin, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "This extraordinary gift will provide a significant boost to the university's overall student scholarship offerings."

Following in her mother's footsteps, McMeans taught school for several years in Oelwein and Burlington, then returned to the UI and earned her master's degree in chemistry in 1948. She was initiated into Iota Sigma Pi, a national honor society for women in chemistry, in 1947.

McMeans worked at the General Mills Corporation, Minneapolis, from 1948 to 1951, then spent the rest of her career as a research chemist at the Hormel Corporation in Austin, Minn. She was well-known for her research on heart disease and cholesterol as it related to the company's products, and she was highly respected by her colleagues. The Hormel Institute is now part of the University of Minnesota College of Medicine.

She retired in 1977 and then traveled extensively, including to China, Australia, Russia, Central America, South America, and Europe. She was active in several Austin philanthropic and community organizations.

McMeans died in May 1996 at the age of 84. Her will directed the UI Foundation to create a scholarship fund in honor of her parents, William and Effa McMeans, to assist deserving students in the College of Liberal Arts.

Her parents married in 1908. They farmed near Fredericksburg for 38 years, then moved to Sumner, Iowa. William McMeans died in 1951; Effa McMeans died in 1959.

The UI 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 resources for research, equipment, and technology, and other forms of support for UI students and faculty.