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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

April 3, 2003

Photo: Edgar A. and Nancy B. Strause. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image.

Couple Gives $100,000 To Spur Innovative UI Programming

Edgar A. and Nancy B. Strause of Columbus, Ohio, have committed $100,000 to the University of Iowa Foundation to encourage innovative academic programming within the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). The gift establishes the Strause Excellence and Innovation Fund.

CLAS Dean Linda Maxson said the Strause Fund will enable the college to recognize and stimulate innovative, educational programming by its departments and programs.

"Excellence and Innovation Funds are a top priority for our college because we must maintain and enhance our ability to bring new ideas into our curriculum, even as we cope with severe budget cuts," Maxson said. "Our faculty are brimming with good ideas that will serve students and the university well. Often, all that's needed is some 'seed money' to implement their plans and leverage grant funding. Through the generosity of the Strauses and others who establish these flexible funds, we will be able to stimulate innovation and continue excellence. We are extremely grateful for the support."

Maxson will award resources from the endowed fund to CLAS departments on a competitive basis.

Edgar Strause, a native of Burlington, Iowa, earned a B.A. degree in political science from the UI in 1950 and a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1953. An annual contributor to the UI for many years, he has been an attorney with the Columbus, Ohio, law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease since 1953. Nancy Strause is development director for BalletMet Columbus. She is a 1959 graduate of Denison University. The Strauses have been married for 42 years.

CLAS comprises more than 50 departments and programs in the performing and fine arts, natural sciences and mathematics, humanities and social sciences. The college also offers numerous interdisciplinary opportunities. CLAS is the largest of the UI's 11 colleges, awarding approximately 70 percent of the university's undergraduate degrees and about 50 percent of its graduate degrees each year.

The Strauses' gift is part of the UI's $850 million comprehensive campaign. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the fund-raising effort will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. The campaign is raising private funds to help launch educational initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI Foundation is acknowledged by the UI as a preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" campaign, visit the UI Foundation's web site at

STORY SOURCE: The UI Foundation, 500 Levitt Center for University Advancement, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550.

CONTACT: Jeff Liebermann, director of development, Social Sciences and Humanities, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (800) 648-6973, Writer: Nic Arp.