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College of Nursing
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Release: Immediate

UI Nursing Centennial Campaign gift establishes gerontology professorship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A lead gift of $100,000 from Woodrow W. and Inabelle H. Morris of Iowa City to the University of Iowa Foundation for the UI College of Nursing has helped launch the Nursing Centennial Campaign and establish a professorship in gerontological nursing. Gerontology has long been a strength of the UI nursing program, as well as a specialty of Dr. Woody Morris.

"There was a need in the College of Nursing for a distinguished professorship like this," said Dr. Morris. "The people at the college do such excellent work, I'm very proud to be associated with them. The idea of supporting a professorship for gerontology research struck a responsive chord in my mind and in my heart."

Dr. Morris joined the UI faculty in 1948 and served for many years as an associate dean in the UI College of Medicine. The recipient of numerous state and national awards for his research on aging, Dr. Morris directed the UI's former Institute of Gerontology from 1957 to 1971. He is now a professor emeritus of the University.

"The Morrises' leadership in the Nursing Centennial Campaign is a great honor for the college," said Melanie C. Dreher, dean of the College of Nursing. "Many of our alumni and friends, students, and faculty are very actively involved in commemorating this occasion when we look forward to a new era in the College of Nursing."

The UI Nursing Centennial Campaign is one part of the celebration in tribute to 100 years of nursing education at Iowa. The effort is currently in the early stages of planning and fund raising for student scholarships, the endowed professorship in gerontology, and other enhancements to the College of Nursing. Nursing Centennial kickoff events for the public are scheduled for April 2-4, 1998.

Alsatia Mellecker, the UI Foundation's director of development for the UI College of Nursing, said the Nursing Centennial Campaign will help position the College of Nursing for the challenges of its next 100 years. "The nationally recognized excellence of the college reflects an illustrious history of innovation in nursing education," she said. What began as a hospital diploma program in the State University of Iowa's Training School for Nurses evolved into the School of Nursing in 1928. The UI College of Nursing baccalaureate program was established in 1949, a master's degree program began in 1951, and the doctoral degree program was added in 1988.

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, professorships, and other forms of support for the UI.