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

Release: Oct. 22, 2001

UI nursing students get scholarship boost

IOWA CITY, Iowa--Nursing students at the University of Iowa will receive a welcome scholarship boost beginning in the fall of 2002. Mary Dunlap Smith of Columbia, Mo., has created a named scholarship in memory of her late mother, Ruth Frederick Dunlap, a 1921 graduate of the UI College of Nursing.

Smith said she is pleased to be able to help worthy students become nurses.

"I am very happy my gift will translate into opportunities for nursing students. The scholarship also provided a perfect means for me to honor and recognize my mother," Smith said. "I am equally pleased with the guidance the UI Foundation provided. It is my hope that this will encourage others to realize that their contributions are meaningful and are very appreciated."

Smith established the scholarship through a gift of real estate and securities.

Melanie Dreher, dean of the UI College of Nursing, said Smith's generosity "not only provides educational opportunities for talented students who wish to serve society as health care providers, but it also memorializes her mother with a legacy of education and care."

Earnings from the Ruth Frederick Dunlap Scholarship fund will support one or more annual scholarships to undergraduate nursing students who demonstrate financial need. The scholarship is renewable to students who maintain good academic standing.

Dunlap's nursing education and career were featured in a recent exhibit at the Medical Museum in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and she is highlighted on the UI Health Care web site, "A Century of Caring: The Health Sciences at the University of Iowa, 1850-1950" (

Following high school graduation in 1914, Dunlap taught in a rural Iowa school to earn money for college. After graduating from the UI, she worked at the University Hospitals until her marriage to Hugh Allen Dunlap in 1926. She returned to nursing after raising her family and was in demand as a private-duty nurse at University Hospitals and Mercy Hospital. She died in 1953 at age 57.

Smith, an Iowa City native and UI graduate, received her B.A. degree in sociology in 1949. Her late husband, J. Ned Smith Jr., also an Iowa City native, completed the U.S. Navy's pre-medical program at DePauw University and received his bachelor's degree and a medical degree from the UI College of Medicine in 1949. He completed a residency at the UI Hospitals and Clinics in 1955. Before his death in 1996, he served 33 years on the faculty at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and on the staff of the University of Missouri Hospitals as a gastroenterologist in the department of internal medicine.

In 1993 the couple created the J. Ned Smith Jr. and Mary Dunlap Smith Student Aid Fund at the UI Foundation to support one or more annual scholarships for deserving students in the UI College of Medicine.

The Smiths have supported numerous other UI programs. Mary Dunlap Smith is also a member of the Presidents Club of the University of Iowa, the university's honor club recognizing its most generous contributors.

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. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at