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Release: Immediate

Wife of UI alumnus bequeaths $30,000 for political science scholarship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $30,000 gift from the wife of a University of Iowa alumnus will create a new undergraduate scholarship in the UI Department of Political Science.

The gift was bequeathed in the will of Georgia Bender, whose late husband, Vernon, graduated from the UI in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in political science. The funds will be invested and the annual interest will be used to award the "Vernon and Georgia Bender Scholarship" to a deserving political science student.

The department expects about $1,500 to be available for the scholarship each year. The first award will be given for the 1999-2000 academic year.

This was the second gift to the UI from Georgia Bender. Before her death, she gave the political science department $1,000 for a one-time scholarship in memory of her husband. Neither Georgia Bender or any other member of the family attended the UI, according to the Benders' daughter, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Bender said her father was a veteran of World War II, where he served with the U.S. Army in the North African campaign. He was a claims adjuster/insurance negotiator for State Farm Insurance Company, retiring after 24 years of service. Georgia Bender had characterized her husband as a gentleman who was polite and considerate. Georgia Bender was a homemaker and writer. Three hundred of her poems and essays were published in various literary journals.