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Annette Hacker, director,
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Office: (515) 294-4777



Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778,

Kim Kindvall, ISU Foundation, (515) 294-5779,

Lied Foundation Trust commits additional $7 million to Iowa State scholarships and program

AMES, Iowa -- The Hixson Opportunity Awards Program received an additional $7 million gift from the Lied Foundation Trust of Las Vegas, Nev., through its trustee, native Iowan Christina Hixson. Of the commitment, $5 million is designated to the scholarship endowment, and $2 million will be used to endow the Hixson Opportunity Awards Program.

"Christina Hixson is a remarkable person," said Iowa State University President Gregory L. Geoffroy. "She has a passion for providing young people with the opportunity to better themselves through higher education, and she has used the resources entrusted to her to do just that. The Hixson Opportunity Awards Program she created at Iowa State is one of the premier scholarship and student advancement programs in the nation, and it has helped more than a thousand young people achieve their dream of a university education at Iowa State. We are deeply grateful to Christina for creating this program 13 years ago, and now for expanding it in a very significant way."

The Hixson Opportunity Awards is a need-based scholarship program that was established in 1995 by Christina Hixson to help students with the ability and desire to pursue a college degree but who face significant hurdles because of personal and financial hardships. The scholarship at Iowa State is awarded to approximately 400 Iowa high school graduates each year. This most recent gift adds to the scholarship program and will endow program activities designed to promote the retention and success of students including leadership and mentoring opportunities.

"It was exciting for me to meet Christina in person and let her know how much the scholarship and the Hixson program has meant to me," said Tameka Hilson, senior in communications studies. "I really feel like she understands what I've been through, and I would not be here today if it were not for her generosity."

The Lied Foundation Trust has been a longtime supporter of Iowa State University. In 2006, the trust made a lead $5 million gift for the construction of the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center. The new facility houses the Christina Hixson Opportunity Awards Program, the Rod and Connie French Athletic Academic Center and the Academic Success Center.

"The support that Christina Hixson has shown to Iowa State over the years has been nothing short of transformational in so many students' lives," said ISU Foundation President Dan Saftig. "Her investment in education will pay dividends for years to come as today's students become future leaders and successful contributors in our society. We are very thankful for the commitment she has shown over the years."

For high school seniors interested in learning more about the Hixson Opportunity Awards, please visit

This $7 million commitment made by the Lied Foundation Trust is part of "Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose," the university's $800 million comprehensive fundraising effort.


More about the scholars.

Read about three Hixson scholars who overcame challenges to attend and succeed at Iowa State University.

Comments from the scholars

"I actually didn't do so well in my first tests and I almost went home. The Hixson Program helped me get things together."

Michael Miller

"Because getting to college was kind of hard for all of us Hixson Scholars, I see that a lot of us really have a drive to be here. And we genuinely appreciate being here."

Leah Hirsch

"I really wanted to take the stress off my mom so she wouldn't have to support me through college, so I started applying for many scholarships."

Henry Wang