CONTACT: TOM DE PRENGER
Director of Development
Special University Initiatives
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973
Release: Sept. 27, 2000
$700,000 estate gift creates endowed Presidential Scholarship fund at
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A generous $700,000 estate gift from UI graduates Robert
F. Hansen and Velma P. Hansen will benefit a new generation of student-scholars
at the University of Iowa by creating an endowed Presidential Scholarship
Earnings from the gift, which will be invested through the University of
Iowa Foundation, will support the Robert F. and Velma P. Hansen Presidential
Scholarship Fund, one of 50 Presidential Scholarships that the UI awards each
year. This scholarship is Iowas most prestigious; the university awards
it competitively to first-year students in the top five percent of their high
school classes who have ACT composite scores of 30 or more.
"Historically, we have not had the resources to reward top scholars
or even good scholars," says Mark Warner, the University of Iowas
director of student financial aid. "We need these types of high achievers
because they benefit all students in the classroom and raise the bar for the
A desire to benefit students is what prompted Robert and Velma Hansen --
who had no children of their own -- to arrange this estate gift before their
respective deaths in 1994 and 1999. The Atlanta, Ga. residents understood
how student financial resources could improve education.
Robert Hansen received his M.D. degree from Iowa in 1934, before going on
to complete a masters degree in public health at Johns Hopkins University.
Velma Hansen received a G.N. degree from the UI in 1930. Together, they began
giving to the university through the foundation in 1975 -- four years after
Dr. Hansen retired from a long and distinguished career with the United States
Public Health Service.
The Hansen gift is part of the universitys planned comprehensive campaign
to advance the UIs strategic goals for the years 2000-2005. The campaign,
which is in its early stages and for which no final dollar goal has been established,
will be conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation and will raise funds
to substantially increase the number of UI merit- and need-based scholarships,
as well as the number of 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 UIs endowment; and launch new initiatives in the arts,
sciences, business, health care, and other fields.
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.