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John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6137
Barb Dietrich Boose, ISU Foundation, (515) 294-5779


AMES, Iowa -- Donors have given more than $22 million to the "Investing in People" initiative of Iowa State University as of July 31. ISU President Gregory Geoffroy announced the initiative at his Oct. 6, 2001, installation as Iowa State's 14th president. The initiative is a two-year, $50 million effort to increase private gifts for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and faculty support.

"Alumni and friends of Iowa State who support the Investing in People campaign are helping Iowa State University achieve its goal of becoming the nation's leading land-grant university. Their gifts help the university recruit and retain the best and brightest faculty and students," Geoffroy said.

Contributions have exceeded $18 million for student support and $4 million for faculty support. The ISU Foundation administers the Investing in People initiative.

"We have been gratified by the way alumni and friends have responded," said Peg Armstrong-Gustafson, interim president and CEO of the ISU Foundation. "Their gifts directly benefit our students and enhance programs via our faculty, which supports Iowa State's land-grant mission of providing access and opportunity."

The initiative emphasizes endowed gifts, which provide a perpetual source of support. Endowed gifts are invested and only a percentage of the earnings is used annually to fund the specified purpose, such as a scholarship or faculty chair. Excess earnings on the endowment fund are invested in the endowment principal, so the value of the fund -- and its impact -- can be expected to grow over time. Non-endowed, or "expendable," gifts for scholarships and fellowships are funded on an annual basis and are awarded as long as funding is available.

"Investing in People" donors include Kent Hopkins, who was inspired by an Iowa State fraternity brother to create the Tracy E. Lewis Leadership Award Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded for the first time this fall to a first-year student who has demonstrated leadership in his or her community and shows interest in continuing leadership activities at Iowa State.

Hopkins, who earned his bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication at Iowa State in 1983 and his master's degree in professional studies in education in 1987, said he named the scholarship award in honor of Lewis because he exemplified student leadership at Iowa State. "As my fraternity brother, we both learned a great deal from our leadership opportunities at Iowa State," said Hopkins, an associate vice president at Noel-Levitz in Denver.

Private gifts now support scholarships for 3,500 Iowa State students. In 2001-02, more than half of all ISU undergraduates demonstrated financial need, with an average annual need of $8,899.

"Clearly, the need for student financial assistance has outpaced the support from the federal and state governments. Thanks to our partnership with Iowa State's alumni and friends, the Office of Student Financial Aid has been able to make Iowa State University affordable and access a reality for many families," said Earl Dowling, director of student financial aid. "The importance of private support to this university's overall student aid program is not just important, but critical."

Like undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships provide important financial assistance to students. Fellowships enable Iowa State to compete for the nation's top graduate students, who contribute significantly to important research and teaching projects. These fellowships may provide stipends, assistance for graduate tuition or travel awards to enable students to attend or present at conferences.

Elva Acklam Stark established a graduate scholarship in memory of her husband, Arvil, who received his master's degree in horticulture in 1931 and his Ph.D. in 1934 from Iowa State. The Arvil L. and Elva Acklam Stark Horticulture Scholarship is awarded to graduate students in horticulture who are conducting research in fruit culture, vegetable culture or organic agriculture. Mrs. Stark, who recently died, endowed the scholarship fund through her estate so that future generations of Stark Scholars will be able to make advances in agriculture.

Endowed faculty professorships, chairs and faculty fellowships allow Iowa State to retain and recruit some of the best and brightest teacher-scholars in their fields. These endowed positions can include support for research, scholarly travel, teaching projects and salary enhancement.

Iowa State has 29 endowed professorships, 17 of which are fully funded and 12 which are "deferred," meaning funding will come after a time period specified by the donor, such as via a bequest. Iowa State also has 33 endowed faculty chairs, 22 of which are fully funded. A goal of the Investing in People initiative is to double the current number of endowed faculty positions.

Frank Ross, vice president and chief financial officer of Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., believes support of professors is essential. "The high quality of professors at ISU helps provide high-quality employees for our company and our industry, and we want that to continue," said the 1984 ISU accounting graduate.

Ross and his wife, Juliane, have supported the Roger Murphy Professorship in Accounting, named for one of Ross's professors. The position will be filled after the chair is fully funded. "Roger had a significant impact on me and many employees here at Pioneer," he said.

The Iowa State University Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to securing and managing gifts and grants that benefit Iowa State University.


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