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Release: Aug. 2, 2000

UI College of Education establishes Rolland Ray Dissertation Fellowship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $260,000 bequest to the University of Iowa Foundation from the widow of a former research associate in the College of Education will be used to provide financial support to students working on dissertations about academic testing and measurement.

The Rolland Ray Dissertation Fellowship is named after a researcher who worked in the Iowa Testing Program from 1951 to 1968 with the program's founder, E.F. Lindquist. Ray, who previously taught math and science in Illinois public schools, took a position at American College Testing Inc. in 1968 and worked there until his retirement in 1981. He died in 1986.

The fellowship is intended for Ph.D. students writing dissertations dealing with measurement and assessment in the areas of science, math, social studies or English. The bequest is expected to generate $12,000 to $13,000 per award, to be used in the final semester or two of dissertation work.

College of Education Professor Emeritus Leonard Feldt and recently retired Director of External Relations Judith Hendershot, working with the UI Foundation, assisted in setting up the fellowship. Ray's wife, Gleynafa, contacted Feldt in 1990 -- when Feldt was director of the Testing and Measurement Program -- and indicated that she wanted to establish a memorial in her husband's name after her own death. Mrs. Ray, a former social studies and English teacher, and Feldt corresponded for several years to work out the wording of the bequest. Mrs. Ray died in 1999.

A plaque bearing the name of the fellowship and a photograph of Ray have been hung in the Lindquist Center's Jones Commons.

The University of Iowa 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 programs and projects at the University of Iowa.