CONTACT: ANDY PIRO
Director of Development
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973
Release: Dec. 13, 2000
Dubuque couple funds named scholarship for Hawkeye basketball program
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A passion for Hawkeye basketball and dreams of seeing
the state of Iowa in the national spotlight have led a Dubuque, Iowa, couple
to establish a fully endowed scholarship for the University of Iowa men's
The Ron and Carol Kirchhoff Men's Basketball Scholarship, created by the
Kirchhoffs' $125,000 gift to the University of Iowa Foundation, provides a
scholarship for a deserving student-athlete. Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby
says the Kirchhoffs' commitment helps provide the financial resources Coach
Steve Alford needs to boost Iowa's program to the next level.
"With this gift, Ron and Carol are helping us build permanent, competitive
scholarship support for recruiting exceptional players, including talented
high school students from our own state. This endowed scholarship is a powerful
resource that will help our program stand out to prospective players in this
exciting era of Iowa men's basketball," Bowlsby said.
Ron Kirchhoff, who earned a UI business degree in 1980, is currently president
and chief executive officer of Kirchhoff Distributing Company, an Anheuser
Busch distributor and third-generation family business serving Dubuque, Jackson
and Clinton counties. His wife, Carol, also works for the company in its custom
sign-making department. Ron Kirchhoff has served on the boards for several
trade organizations and is currently a leadership chair for the America's
River project, a riverfront revitalization effort aimed at promoting tourism
The Kirchhoffs hold season tickets for Iowa men's basketball and football,
and Ron says their gift reflects not only their love for Hawkeye sports but
also their desire to promote their home state as a great place to learn and
"There are no professional sports teams in Iowa, so a competitive,
nationally visible program is great not only for the UI, but for Iowa overall.
People are concerned about brain drain -- smart, young people who leave Iowa
in search of greener pastures -- but this state is a great place to work,
raise a family and just visit. If a top-rated basketball program at Iowa can
advertise those benefits and get people to ask, 'What's the state of Iowa
all about?' it helps all of us," Kirchhoff said.
Beyond recruiting assistance, Ron Kirchhoff says creating the scholarship
20 years after his UI graduation was a way to show appreciation for his education
and also to help Iowa's student-athletes understand that fans care about them
as individuals. Since most college basketball players don't go on to play
professionally, UI student-athletes need to be prepared to start a working
career when they graduate, Kirchhoff notes. "An Iowa degree gives them
options, and Carol and I are pleased to have a role in helping Iowa basketball
players get a great education," he said.
The Kirchhoffs' gift is part of the Hawkeye Visions Endowment Program, which
seeks to endow scholarships for all starting positions in men's and women's
athletics at Iowa and secure a strong and competitive future for UI sports.
For more information about how to establish a named scholarship, contact Andy
Piro, the University of Iowa Foundation's director of development for intercollegiate
athletics-endowment, at (319) 335-3305 or toll-free at (800) 648-6973.
The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to
all areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends
to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements,
equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.