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CONTACT: Mark Wunder
Director of Development, College of Law
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: March 6, 2001

$250,000 gift to UI Law School creates two scholarship funds

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A $250,000 gift to the University of Iowa College of Law and the Iowa Law School Foundation will establish two student scholarship funds. The gift is from 1957 law graduate Mark W. Putney of Reno, Nev., and Carefree, Ariz.

The first scholarship has been named the Ray Ann Putney Law Scholarship, honoring Putney’s wife, who died in February 2000. The merit-based scholarship will be awarded to a deserving first-, second-, or third-year female law student. A second scholarship, to aid students demonstrating financial need, has been named the Mark W. Putney Law Scholarship.

"I have always felt that the university contributed a great deal toward my business and professional success," said Putney, who also holds a B.A. degree in political science from the UI. "These scholarships are a way of recognizing what the university has given to me."

Putney said it was fitting that his wife be commemorated with an endowed scholarship at the UI. "Ray Ann felt that women could do anything they wanted -- academically, professionally, on the athletic playing field or socially to aid their communities. I am hopeful that her scholarship will allow young women to fulfill their dream of a career in law."

Ray Ann Putney was an avid golfer and aviator, receiving a pilot’s license in 1944. She served as an officer or director of several charitable and social organizations in the Des Moines area, where the Putneys lived for many years.

Mark Putney has long been one of the law school’s most loyal and generous alumni supporters, said N. William Hines, dean of the college. "Mark’s recent gift goes a long way toward enabling the best and brightest students to attend the UI law school. The quality of our students plays a key role in ensuring that Iowa continues to be counted among the nation’s best law schools."

A native of Gladbrook, Iowa, Putney retired in 1992 as chairman and chief executive officer of Midwest Resources Inc., now known as MidAmerican Energy Company. He was a partner in Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, a Des Moines law firm, before joining Iowa Power and Light Company as vice president and general counsel in 1972. An early and longtime advocate of utility combinations, Putney was instrumental in the 1990 merger of Iowa Resources and Midwest Energy Company into a new utility holding company, Midwest Resources Inc.

Over the years, Putney has served as an officer and director of numerous industry, corporate, civic and charitable organizations, including, among others, the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies, the Edison Electric Institute, the Des Moines Development Corporation, the Greater Des Moines Committee, the Des Moines Metropolitan YMCA, the YMCA Boys’ Home of Iowa, the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, Iowa Lutheran Hospital, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, Planned Parenthood of Iowa, the United Negro College Fund and the Iowa Committee for Support of the Guard and Reserves.

Throughout his career, Putney has maintained close ties to the University of Iowa. A lifetime honorary member of the UI Foundation’s board of directors, a class agent for the Law Class of 1957 and a member of the College of Law Dean’s Club, Putney was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by the University of Iowa Alumni Association in 1995. He is a member of the Alumni Association’s Old Capitol Club and the Presidents Club, the UI’s honor club recognizing its most generous contributors.

The Putney gift is part of the Iowa Law School Endowment Campaign for the 21st Century, which continues to progress toward its $25 million goal. The Iowa Law School Foundation has made the endowment of scholarships a central priority in the law school endowment campaign.

The UI Foundation, the university’s comprehensive fund-raising organization, is the preferred channel of support for contributions to all areas of the university, including the Iowa Law School Foundation. UI Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.