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University of Iowa News Release


December 16, 2010

$2.2 million gift to support UI Gerontological Nursing

Thanks to a gift commitment of more than $2.2 million from University of Iowa graduate Barbara Csomay, of Kanawha, Iowa, the UI College of Nursing's top-ranked gerontology program will be able to enhance its services to older adults.

The commitment, made through the University of Iowa Foundation, will establish the Barbara and Richard Csomay Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence, as well as the Barbara and Richard Csomay Doctoral Scholarship, the Barbara and Richard Csomay Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Scholarship, and the Barbara and Richard Csomay Doctorate of Nursing Practice Scholarship and the Barbara and Richard Csomay Scholarship in Gerontology.

"Older adults comprise the fastest-growing segment of the nation's population, which is why it's more crucial than ever for nursing educators and researchers to address aging-related issues," said Rita Frantz, Kelting dean and professor of the UI College of Nursing. "We are incredibly grateful to Barbara and Richard Csomay for their visionary and generous investment in this important field."

The University of Iowa College of Nursing has a long history of leadership in gerontological education, practice and research. "This gift will help us continue to lead the way in meeting the needs of older adults, their families and their caregivers," said Janet Specht, professor of nursing and director of the UI Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence.

The college currently is ranked first, by U.S.News & World Report, in the field of gerontological nursing for public institutions throughout the country.

"It was so important to my late husband, Dick, and me to find an effective way to promote health care for an aging population in rural Iowa," Csomay said. "The UI College of Nursing is doing very meaningful work in this area, and I hope our gift will enhance its efforts to change people's lives."

Csomay graduated from Upper Iowa University in 1946 with a teaching degree in music. She earned a master's degree in music from the University of Iowa in 1956 and was a member of the UI Marching Band staff. She worked as a marching and symphonic band director in Fayette, Iowa; Garner, Iowa; Heidelberg, Germany; and Parma, Ohio. Her late husband, Richard, was an accomplished woodwind musician who received bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Hartt College of Music and completed a doctoral degree in music at the Philadelphia Conservatory.

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 website at

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Forrest Meyer, executive director-strategic communications, 319-467-3661;


A high-resolution photo of Barbara Csomay and her late husband, Richard Csomay, is available for downloading:

A web-quality image also is available: