The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


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

Release: March 1, 1999

Estate gift from Independence couple creates two UI athletic scholarships

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $345,000 bequest to the University of Iowa Foundation from the estate of an Independence couple will establish an endowment for two annual scholarships in football and men's basketball at the University of Iowa.

Theo and Glenda Hitchens were longtime UI football and men's basketball season ticket holders and contributors to UI Athletics. Theo Hitchens died in 1997; Glenda Hitchens died in 1981.

The first Hitchens scholarships will be awarded in the fall of 1999. The basketball and football players who receive the scholarships will be students excelling in athletics, academics, and citizenship.

The gift is for the UI Foundation's Hawkeye Visions Endowment Program, aimed at building endowed scholarship support for UI student-athletes. Contributors also can support a favorite sport, a specific position, or Hawkeye student-athletes in general.

About 350 student-athletes receive some annual scholarship assistance; 25 are recipients of fully endowed named scholarships.

Mark Jennings, senior director of development for UI Intercollegiate Athletics, said, "We are grateful to Theo and Glenda Hitchens for this lasting gift to the University of Iowa. The new scholarships come at an important time in the history of UI Athletics as we strive to endow athletic scholarships through our Hawkeye Visions initiative. The scholarships are an enduring tribute to the Hitchenses, who were among our most loyal Hawkeye fans. In fact, Leo contributed to Iowa athletics for 41 consecutive years."

Theo and Glenda Hitchens were native Iowans. The couple was married in 1946 in Chicago and later operated the Colonial Motel in Independence.

Theo Hitchens served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 as a medical technician in the South Pacific. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and a member of Pheasants Forever.

Glenda Hitchens was a member of Eastern Star and on the advisory board for Rainbow Girls in Independence.

As a teenager Theo Hitchens often hitchhiked to Iowa City and sat in the knothole section to watch the Hawkeyes play football. As an adult he traveled to many Iowa away games, including two Rose Bowl games.

To make a gift or for more information about the Hawkeye Visions Endowment Program, please contact Andy Piro at the UI Foundation, (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff members work with alumni and friends to provide support for a broad range of projects and programs at the University of Iowa.