Oct. 19, 2009
$5 million gift creates ACT Scholars Program at UI
Fifty years after University of Iowa education leaders E.F. Lindquist and Ted McCarrel launched the groundbreaking American College Testing Assessment Program, ACT Inc. has committed $5 million to the UI Foundation to endow the ACT Scholars Program at the University of Iowa, which will support development of selected UI graduate students as the next generation of innovators in the field that ACT leads.
ACT's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Richard L. Ferguson announced the gift and the new ACT Scholars Program today, Monday, Oct. 19, at ACT's annual meeting in Coralville.
The gift launches one of the most significant, university-wide initiatives in support of graduate students -- especially those from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds -- in UI history, said UI and UI Foundation officials.
The ACT Scholars Program will allow qualified UI students to earn graduate degrees in a variety of areas such as liberal arts and sciences, education, business, communications, information technology, mathematics, statistics and engineering. During their studies at the UI, ACT Scholars also will be assigned to a business unit at ACT to gain experience in projects related to their graduate area of study. The ACT Scholars Program will provide students with full tuition and a stipend.
"I can think of no better way to acknowledge the role that the University of Iowa has played in ACT's founding and evolution than to announce this new initiative between ACT and the university. It promises to sustain and build on a relationship that has benefited both parties during the past five decades," Ferguson said. "It is a fitting tribute to the enduring impact of our founders, and of the University of Iowa, the institution that nurtured the fledgling ACT as it began to take root in the American educational landscape."
Initial plans call for annually enrolling up to eight scholars, with the first group beginning in the fall 2010 semester. Because of ACT's and the UI's shared commitment to promoting diversity, the program will actively seek candidates from racial and ethnic backgrounds that are currently underrepresented at the UI.
"We are most grateful to ACT for providing this important gift, one of the largest contributions ever aimed at university-wide support of graduate students," said UI President Sally Mason. "Among our highest priorities at the UI are providing an accessible education for students at all levels and strengthening our areas of research excellence, especially in areas of interdisciplinary innovation. This gift greatly helps us do all of that.
"We at the UI are proud of our 50-year partnership with ACT, and we are delighted that this significant commitment will move our collaboration into the future while it enhances the university's ability to support graduate education," Mason added.
Wallace Loh, UI provost and executive vice president, said the ACT Scholars Program will provide generations of UI graduate students from varied disciplines with the best of both worlds.
"UI graduate students who are ACT Scholars will enjoy extraordinary support that will allow them to focus on their studies," Loh said. "At the same time, the learning they will gain at ACT during the program will provide them with unmatched real-world experience. The combination of these program components will make for a distinctive and rewarding total educational experience for our graduate students."
More information about the ACT Scholars program is on the ACT web site at http://www.act.org/aboutact/actscholars.
ACT Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit organization that is an international leader in providing a broad array of assessment, research, information and program management solutions in the areas of education and workforce development. Each year ACT, with offices worldwide, serves millions of people in high schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses and government agencies in the United States and internationally.
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 foundation, visit its web site at http://www.uifoundation.org.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550
MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Shullaw, senior vice president-strategic communications, UI Foundation, email@example.com, 319-467-3861.
PHOTOS: A high-resolution image of ACT Inc. CEO and Chairman Dick Ferguson is available:
A web-quality image also is available: http://www.uifoundation.org/news/2009/images/oct-act.jpgHigh resolution and Web-ready images of UI President Sally Mason are available (through Flickr): http://www.flickr.com/photos/uinews/3311948712