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University of Iowa Foundation Release


March 14, 2008

Gift for UI International Programs will support study abroad

A $50,000 gift commitment from the Bedell World Citizenship Fund (BWCF), a family foundation in Spirit Lake, Iowa, will benefit University of Iowa students who have an interest in studying in Asian-speaking countries.

The gift to the UI Foundation will endow the Bedell World Citizenship Fund Experience Asia Scholarship, which each year will support one or more scholarships for native Iowa students who travel to areas where Japanese, Chinese or Korean is the primary language. The scholarships will be administered through UI International Programs.

The Bedell Foundation was established by Tom and Molly Bedell and their family for the purpose of encouraging cultural, political, economic, spiritual and intellectual change toward a world of greater human kindness. BWCF's funding goal is to support programs and initiatives that break down barriers of nationalism, ethnicity, economic and natural resource exploitation.

Tom Bedell's nephew, Peter Sun, established the scholarship through the family foundation after completing an M.B.A. degree in the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business in May 2007.

"Peter's commitment to helping others is inspiring," said William M. Reisinger, associate provost and dean of International Programs. "Having tackled the challenges of learning in new cultures himself, Peter understands the personal growth that results, and he wants more University of Iowa students to have that opportunity. The UI appreciates his thoughtfulness -- and the generosity of the Bedell family -- in making a gift that will create excellent learning opportunities for students wishing to study in Asian-speaking countries."

Sun said, "As a UI graduate, it is my privilege and obligation to give back to the University of Iowa. I strongly believe this scholarship will help broaden students' global views and knowledge about Asian cultures and languages."

The BWCF includes nine board members, all of whom are Bedell family members. For more information, visit the fund's Web site at

University of Iowa International Programs enables UI students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide opportunities for intercultural experiences on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the UI Office of the Provost.

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 UI Foundation, visit its Web site at

PHOTOS: Photos of Peter Sun are available at (print) and (Web).

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Derek Pendergast, UI Foundation, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973,; Writer: Betsy Hickok