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Development Director, Education
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-3305

Release: Immediate

Attention: Waterloo Media

First Ted Wheeler Scholarships awarded to incoming freshmen

IOWA CITY Iowa -- Two Waterloo high school seniors are the first to receive the Ted Wheeler Scholarship for minority students enrolling in science programs at the University of Iowa.

The students are Dara T. Hickman, who plans to major in psychology, and Darius A. Bailey, who is interested in chemical engineering. Both will be in the UI Honors Program in September. Ted Wheeler, retired UI head track coach, said he initiated the scholarship to give today's students life-building opportunities similar to the ones he experienced as a UI student.

"It's an honor to have an opportunity to give minority students this UI experience," Wheeler said. "I feel fortunate to have gotten my education from this university, and it's a privilege for me to be able to encourage other African-Americans to enjoy many of the benefits that I was able to have."

During the 1950s Wheeler was a successful UI track athlete, qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1952 and again in 1956 when he competed in the Olympics in Australia. He graduated from the UI in 1957 with a bachelor's degree in political science. From 1978 to 1996, Wheeler served as UI head track coach.

Wheeler said the UI community provides positive role models for young adults and exposes them to "a culture that's sensitive to the whole world. There probably isn't a better place to bring minority students to expose them to diverse national and global influences."

"I appreciate the fact that Mr. Wheeler is searching out young people who truly are trying to get their education and be successful," said Hickman, whose activities include school and church leadership roles, and playing the euphonium in her high school marching band. Wheeler chose to create science scholarships because he wanted to encourage high-caliber students to enter those fields. Students receive the partial scholarships for four years.

The scholarship fund has been supported by many contributors and encouraged by university science faculty, especially James Van Allen, professor emeritus of physics and astronomy. People wishing to contribute to the Ted Wheeler Scholarship may send their gifts to The University of Iowa Foundation, P. O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa., 52244-4550.

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel for private support of all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff members work with the university's administration, colleges, and departments to set fund-raising priorities, expand the base of contributors, provide stewardship to multiply funds already raised, and conduct a variety of activities and fund-raising campaigns that advance the UI's institutional goals.