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University of Iowa Foundation News Release


Sept. 20, 2011

Magid $1 million gift supports UI undergraduate writing

magidsThanks to a $1 million gift commitment from University of Iowa graduate Marilyn Y. Magid of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the UI will have another reason to lay claim to its status as "The Writing University."

The commitment, made through the UI Foundation, will establish the Frank N. Magid Undergraduate Writing Center Fund in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to be used at the dean's discretion to support the college's new Certificate in Writing program.

"The University of Iowa is known worldwide for the writing programs centered in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences," said Linda Maxson, UI Alumni Association Dean's Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. "With our new Magid Center for Writing and the accompanying Undergraduate Certificate in Writing, all UI undergraduates will be able to experience that Iowa tradition and learn top-notch writing skills to help them develop fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. I couldn't be more grateful to the Magid family for making this gift that will help ensure a successful launch of the program."

Helena Dettmer, the college's associate dean for undergraduate programs and curriculum, said, "Now all undergraduate UI students will have an opportunity to tap into the wealth of writing expertise at the UI. I believe the Undergraduate Certificate in Writing could quickly become our most popular certificate, because students and their parents recognize the value in graduating with skills and credentials in writing -- especially from the University of Iowa."

Marilyn Magid said, "It was so important to my late husband, Frank, and me to find an effective way to promote writing across disciplines at Iowa. Frank always believed that a key component of an excellent liberal-arts education -- and any successful career -- is learning to communicate effectively. His most valued employees, regardless of what they studied in college, were those who could write well."

Marilyn Magid graduated from the UI in 1957 with a degree in general science and was a science teacher at Roosevelt High School in Cedar Rapids for several years. Frank Magid earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology from the UI in 1956 and 1957, respectively. In 1957, while a UI professor of social psychology, anthropology and statistics, he launched Frank N. Magid Associates. A year later, he left teaching to devote his full efforts to the fledgling business. He built the company into the world's largest research-based strategy consulting company focused on media, entertainment and communications.

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

PHOTOS: A web-quality image of Marilyn and Frank Magid is available at:

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Forrest Meyer, UI Foundation, 319-467-3661,,