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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

Sept. 7, 2004

Gift Of $1.25 Million To Aid UI Law, Health Policy And Disability Center

A $1.25 million gift from Stanley and Gail Richards of Des Moines, Iowa, will help the University of Iowa's Law, Health Policy and Disability Center promote awareness of the rights and interests of persons with disabilities.

The Stanley and Gail Richards Endowment Fund will support the center -- part of the UI College of Law -- in offering programs and events such as symposia, seminars, public forums and the dissemination of research and policy papers that address the needs of persons with disabilities with regard to work, access, living conditions and respect for their individual dignity.

"Gail and I are impressed with -- and personally interested in -- the work of the Law, Health Policy and Disability Center," said Stanley Richards, a consultant to and former general counsel and president of General Growth Properties. In 1963, Gail Richards' oldest son, Scott, was diagnosed as developmentally challenged.

"Scott is fortunate to have worked the past 17 years for the same employer and to be able to live independently," Gail Richards said. "Peter Blanck, the disability center's director, is a great advocate for Iowans and others living with disabilities. We want to support the center in enabling adults to be gainfully employed in workplaces where their strengths and limitations are understood."

Blanck, who is also the college's Charles M. and Marion Kierscht Professor of Law, said, "The generous gift from the Richards family will strengthen the reach of the center to Iowans with disabilities and their families. The Richards endowment enables the center to be a leader in law, technology, education and research, with an emphasis on employment, self-determination and economic self-sufficiency."

Stanley Richards received a B.S.C. degree from the UI in 1955 and a J.D. degree from the UI College of Law in 1958. He has been a supporter of the university and the Iowa Law School for more than 30 years and is a current member of the Iowa Law School Foundation Board of Directors. He has worked with General Growth Properties, the nation's second largest owner-developer of regional shopping centers, for 43 years.

"The University and the College of Law have always meant a lot to me and have had an enormous impact in my life," said Richards. "My education at Iowa and the contacts I made there led to a satisfying career, and have made it financially possible for me to make this gift to the University today."

The Richards' gift is part of the UI's $1 billion 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 substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, help launch educational initiatives across the university, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university, including the Iowa Law School Foundation. For more information about the "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" campaign, visit the UI Foundation's web site at

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Rich Wretman, 319-335-3305,; Writer: Betsy Hickok

PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: Photos for this story are available for downloading at: