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


Assistant Vice President Pricipal Gifts
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: Sept. 8, 2000

College of Nursing receives endowed scholarship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Students attending the University of Iowa College of Nursing will benefit from a new scholarship, thanks to a generous gift from Ron Rohling of Muscatine, Iowa. Rohling's $100,000 gift established the Illeen M. Rohling Nursing Scholarship Fund in memory of his sister. The fund will help UI nursing students seeking a traditional four-year undergraduate degree and those in the R.N.-B.S.N. bachelor degree completion program.

Students are eligible to receive the $1,250 scholarship each year they are enrolled in the UI nursing program. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time during the 2000-2001 academic year.

Melanie Dreher, dean of the UI College of Nursing, said this is a generous and important scholarship for the college. "Mr. Rohling's generosity, along with his acknowledgement that there are two categories of undergraduate students, is remarkable. People often think about traditional undergraduate students getting scholarships, but practicing RNs with family responsibilities are often overlooked for scholarship assistance. It's important to recognize their needs."

Rohling and his sister, who were close in age, were raised in a Muscatine farming family and enjoyed a strong sibling relationship. Neither married, but both valued education. Ron Rohling attended the UI and the University of Northern Iowa. Illeen Rohling was studying for her master's degree when she died unexpectedly at age 38 in 1957.

The Illeen Rohling Nursing Scholarship also recognizes a scholarship preference for students who attended Mulberry Elementary School in Muscatine. Jan Collinson, principal of Mulberry Elementary School, says Ron Rohling has been very generous to Muscatine students. "Most scholarships are a reward for a job well done," Collinson says. "This scholarship takes a different approach. It has become a goal for our elementary students to achieve.

"There's a shortage of nurses," Collinson adds. "Nursing is a tough profession and the standards are very high. Children need to be encouraged at a young age to pursue a science and math curriculum. By focusing on very young students, Ron is saying, 'If you do a good job, this career path is here for you.'"

This is not the first scholarship gift that Rohling, a retired International Harvester employee, has made to benefit students from Muscatine. He began a tradition of awarding scholarships to Muscatine High School graduating seniors in 1982. Since then more than 130 students have received scholarships.

Rohling previously endowed a nursing scholarship in his sister's name. He also established a scholarship in memory of his mother, Burnedette Rohling, to benefit future teachers; and one for his father, Paul C. Rohling, to aid students entering agriculture careers or those interested in becoming coaches.

In 1995, he also created the Ronald Rohling Scholarship, a renewable scholarship for Muscatine students attending the UI.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university. The Foundation staff works with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives