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Ann Wilson, Iowa State University Foundation, (515) 294-9608
Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- At Thursday night's opening ceremonies for the International Symposium on Modern Computing, Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy made a surprise announcement -- the creation of the John V. Atanasoff Family Academic Endowment.

The endowment is being established with an estate gift from John Atanasoff II, whose father, John Vincent Atanasoff (along with graduate student Clifford Berry) invented the world's first electronic digital computer at Iowa State between 1939 and 1942. The International Symposium on Modern Computing, being held through Nov. 1 on the Iowa State University campus, recognizes the 100th anniversary of Atanasoff's birth.

John Vincent Atanasoff was a former physics and math professor at Iowa State, and received his master's degree in mathematics from ISU in 1926. His first wife, Lura; son, John Atanasoff II of Boulder, Colo.; and granddaughter, Nancie Atanasoff Nolton of Alpharetta, Ga., also graduated from Iowa State.

President Geoffroy thanked John Atanasoff II and his family for their gift, which will enhance Iowa State's future academic programs through an endowed faculty position, fellowships or scholarships.

"This endowment is the latest of many generous acts by the Atanasoff family in support of Iowa State University," Geoffroy said. "They have donated Dr. Atanasoff's personal papers and articles to Special Collections, have helped to fund the building of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer replica, and have led efforts to recognize Dr. Atanasoff's important role in history. We are extremely grateful to John Atanasoff II and his family."


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