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Release: April 18, 2002  

Wolfe Clinic Foundation gift endows ophthalmology lecture series

            A University of Iowa ophthalmology lecture series supported annually for 30 years by the Wolfe Foundation of Marshalltown, Iowa, will now be endowed permanently by that foundation's $100,000 gift to the UI Foundation.

            The next Wolfe Lecture on April 19 in Des Moines at a joint meeting of the Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology, the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and the Iowa Medical Society will feature cataract specialist David Chang, M.D., from the University of California-San Francisco.

            The Wolfe Foundation is affiliated with the Wolfe Clinics, ophthalmology and otolaryngology centers located throughout Iowa and headquartered in Marshalltown. Wolfe Clinic founder Otis R. Wolfe established the Wolfe Foundation in 1938 to support lifetime ophthalmic education and to provide charitable eye care for the needy. For the past 30 years, the Wolfe Foundation has provided financial support for the Wolfe Lectureship, a forum to share clinical and research developments regarding surgery and diseases of the eye.

            "We are pleased to endow the Wolfe Lecture to guarantee the series' permanent place in ophthalmic education," said Russell Watt, M.D., Wolfe Foundation president. The high quality of the lectures and the encouraging feedback received by directors of the Wolfe Foundation led them to ensure the continuation of the lecture series, added Watt. With the assistance of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, the Wolfe Lecture has featured more than 30 distinguished ophthalmologists of national and international standing.

            Thomas Weingeist, Ph.D., M.D., professor and head of the UI ophthalmology and visual sciences department, said, "The Wolfe lecture is a highlight of our academic year and is a wonderful opportunity for us to invite a distinguished ophthalmologist to Iowa. Everyone we have invited has felt honored to be included on the list of former speakers, and all remarked how pleased they are to see that so many community ophthalmologists attend our conferences and participate in a meaningful way."

            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