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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

March 8, 2006

Private Gifts Endow Scholarship In Memory Of UI Professor Audrey Qualls

Gifts from the Iowa Measurement Research Foundation (IMRF) and from friends, colleagues and family of the late Audrey Qualls, a leader at the University of Iowa in educational testing and measurement, have created the Audrey Qualls Memorial Scholarship for Women at the UI. A measurement and statistics faculty member in the UI College of Education from 1990 to 2002, Qualls died in 2002 at the age of 47.

The Qualls Scholarship will support one or more annual UI scholarships for African-American graduates of Kenwood High School in Chicago, the high school from which Qualls graduated. The scholarships will be awarded based on both need and merit. The first Qualls Scholarship will be awarded in the fall of 2006.

The IMRF made a gift of $25,000 to help create the Qualls Scholarship.

"Audrey was an extremely important member of the staff of Iowa Testing Programs, and many of us worked closely with her as a researcher and considered her a friend," said Leonard Feldt, former E.F. Lindquist Chair in Measurement and Testing at the UI, former director of Iowa Testing Programs and IMRF vice president for operations. "It seemed fitting that the IMRF should help keep her memory alive through this scholarship -- particularly one that encourages other black women to become involved in educational testing."

To date, another $10,000 has been contributed to the fund by Qualls's colleagues and friends. The gifts establishing the scholarship in her memory were made to the UI Foundation.

After completing her doctorate at the UI in 1986, Qualls worked for test publisher Science Research Associates and the Illinois Institute of Technology before joining the UI College of Education. Qualls, who also earned a master's degree from the UI in 1980, was promoted to full professor in fall of 2002, shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Qualls's appointment divided her time between Iowa Testing Programs, where she assisted in the development of new forms of the widely used Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and academic work, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in educational measurement and statistics and conducting research.

Qualls is remembered by her colleagues as an exceptional scholar in educational testing and measurement, a fine lecturer and a compassionate teacher and mentor who held her students to the same rigorous standards to which she held herself. In 1996, the university awarded her the Collegiate Teaching Award.

UI Professor Emeritus H.D. Hoover, former director of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, said, "Qualls's death was a double loss for the testing program, at the university and nationally. Not only was she a gifted researcher and educator, she was an African-American woman in a field that contains few minorities."

Audrey's brother, Jesse Qualls, said the family is proud of the Qualls Scholarship. "Our family greatly appreciates the IMRF gift and contributions from the many friends and colleagues who have remembered Audrey in this meaningful way -- by giving to a scholarship fund that will provide young minds with opportunities for learning and growth as it carries Audrey's memory into the future. We hope that others will continue to add to this endowed scholarship in the coming years," Qualls said.

The Qualls Scholarship was established through the UI's comprehensive fund-raising campaign, which ran from 1999 through the end of 2005 and was conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort raised more than $1 billion in private support 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 acknowledges the UI Foundation as the 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

CONTACTS: MEDIA: Jennifer Wyatt, Special University Initiatives Coordinator, 319-335-3305,; Writer: Betsy Hickok

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

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