Tom Mitchell, Foundation, (515) 294-4607
Debra Sanborn, Hixson Program, (515) 294-0632
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa – An Iowa State University scholarship program that has provided hundreds of students an opportunity to earn a college degree will continue well into the future, university officials have announced.

Thanks to the generosity of donors and investment growth, Iowa State's Hixson Opportunity Awards Program is now fully endowed, Iowa State interim president Richard Seagrave announced during a Tuesday, Nov. 28, visit to Clarinda. Beth Ritchie and Matt Brummett, Iowa State students from Taylor County, joined Seagrave for the announcement. Both students are Hixson award recipients.

The Christina Hixson Opportunity Awards were created in 1995 for Iowa high school students who had the potential to succeed in college but who faced severe personal or financial hardships. The goal of the program is to annually award 100 $2,500 scholarships that are renewable for four years of study. The program began with a $5 million gift from the Lied Foundation Trust, Las Vegas, and was named in honor of its sole trustee, Christina Hixson. Hixson is a native of Clarinda. Since its inception, the Lied Foundation Trust has contributed more than $11 million to the program.

Gifts from other donors and investment growth created a $15 million endowment for the Hixson program, which means it can support 345 scholarships annually. Several Iowa counties also have endowed Hixson scholarships. There are currently 355 Hixson scholars enrolled at Iowa State. Research has indicated the Hixson scholars have higher cumulative GPA, retention and graduation rates than university and national averages.

The Hixson Opportunity Awards program was a part of the President's Scholarship Campaign, which was a component of a five-year capital campaign, Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best. The scholarship campaign raised more than $100 million.

"The success of Campaign Destiny may be judged in part by the impact it has on our students. Our campaign leaders are delighted that more than $100 million was committed specifically for student financial aid, and because these funds are directly assisting students in obtaining an education at Iowa State," said Thomas Mitchell, president of the ISU Foundation. "The Hixson Opportunity Awards, in particular, continue to help 100 new students each year who might otherwise be unable to attend college at all."


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