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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

Release: May 30, 2003

UI Libraries To Benefit From Estate Gift Of More Than $900,000

Arlene Kitching French, a 1929 University of Iowa graduate and native of Creston, Iowa, has left a bequest of more than $900,000 to establish the Arlene K. French Memorial Funds, which will provide financial resources for the UI's Main Library and its Biological Sciences Library.

The fund for the Main Library will assist the UI Libraries system in keeping its technology and equipment up to date. The fund for the Biological Sciences Library, one of 11 branch libraries within the UI Libraries system, will assist the branch library in purchasing back files of frequently used electronic indexes and journals.

"Arlene French understood that libraries are the cornerstone of this university. Her generous estate gift will help us enhance our research and educational opportunities for countless users," said University Librarian Nancy Baker. "These funds are a gift for the future--from one generation to the next."

Born in 1907 and raised on a farm near Creston, French was a member of the UI chapter of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and also was honored at a 1929 Finkbine Dinner recognizing the University of Iowa's outstanding women scholars.

After graduation, French made her career in the biological sciences, working extensively in cancer research at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City before relocating with her husband in 1941 to San Francisco, where she worked as a medical technologist.

French was a long-standing member of the Presidents Club, an honor club recognizing the University of Iowa's high-level contributors, and her UI gifts date back more than 40 years. She died in 2001.

French's gift is part of the UI's $850 million comprehensive campaign, which will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort is raising private funds to help launch a variety of 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 its web site at

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

MEDIA CONTACTS: Deborah Dreusicke, director of development, UI Libraries, 319-335-3305, 800-648-6973, Writer: Leah Klevar