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Release: July 18, 2000

Volunteers named to lead major UI fund-raising campaign

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Five prominent University of Iowa alumni have been selected to lead the UI's comprehensive campaign, now in its initial planning phase, according to University of Iowa Foundation President Michael J. New.

Mary Louise Petersen of Harlan, Iowa, and Marvin Pomerantz of Des Moines will serve as co-chairs of the UI's National Campaign Steering Committee. Petersen, a 1951 UI science education graduate, is former president of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and current chair of The Presidents Club, the university's highest honor club for contributors. Pomerantz, a 1952 UI business graduate, also led the Board of Regents, State of Iowa; chaired the University's Iowa Endowment 2000 Campaign in the late 1980s; and is former chair of the UI Foundation board of directors. In addition to their volunteer efforts, both Petersen and Pomerantz have been generous UI contributors, supporting areas ranging from the Colleges of Business and Education to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the UI Libraries.

Joining Petersen and Pomerantz on the campaign leadership team will be vice-chairs Gary Seamans of St. Charles, Ill.; Mary Joy Stead of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Robert Verhille of Solon, Iowa. Seamans, an Iowa City native, is a 1971 graduate of the UI College of Engineering. Stead attended the UI in the 1960s, and Verhille earned his business degree from the UI in 1955. All five steering committee volunteers are members of the UI Foundation board of directors. Additional committee members will be named in the coming months.

"We are delighted to have such a strong leadership team assembled for this campaign," said UI President Mary Sue Coleman. "Our objective is to significantly advance the university as we enter the 21st century, in order to better serve the needs of our students, our community, the state of Iowa, and the world. The UI has always relied on the energy, dedication, and generosity of its volunteers, and we are confident that the team chosen to lead this campaign will set the pace for attaining and surpassing our goals."

The UI and the UI Foundation are in the early, non-public stage of the campaign, which is designed to assist the UI in meeting the objectives of its current strategic plan. The campaign, for which no dollar goal has yet been established, will raise funds to substantially increase the number of merit- and need-based scholarships; create 100 new endowed faculty chairs and professorships; support eight new educational and research facilities; fund outreach and service programs to benefit individuals, families, and communities throughout the state of Iowa; build the UI's endowment; and launch new initiatives in the arts, sciences, business, health care, and other fields. A public kickoff and goal announcement are planned for spring 2002.

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.