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CONTACT: VANESSA SHELTON
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Iowa City IA 52242
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e-mail: vanessa-shelton@uiowa.edu

Release: Immediate

Five UI students awarded Morris Scholarships

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Five University of Iowa students will receive scholarships from the Morris Scholarship Fund of Des Moines in recognition of their academic achievement and community service.

Each student will receive $1,250 for the 1997-98 academic year from the Morris Fund, with a matching award from the UI's Opportunity at Iowa program and the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Recipients of the scholarships, their hometowns, academic status and majors are: Davenan Doobay of Ames, law student; Brooke Hintgen of Cedar Rapids, freshman, pre-engineering; Sarah Walker of Sioux City, sophomore, pre-medicine; Willene Owens-Luper of Iowa City, senior, journalism; Acacia Thede of Davenport, sophomore, education.

The Morris Scholarship Fund was established in 1978 by a group of Des Moines community leaders in honor of the Morris family, who have made significant contributions to the city of Des Moines, the state of Iowa and the nation. The family's contributions began in 1922, when attorney J.B. Morris Sr. became the editor and publisher of Iowa's oldest black newspaper, "The Iowa Bystander." A staunch integrationist, Morris used the newspaper's influence to advocate for interracial cooperation and civic action. He also was one of the founders of the Negro Bar Association, which is now the National Bar Association.

Morris' commitment to civil rights was shared by his family. His wife, Georgine, founded the Iowa State Conference of the NAACP in 1939, and their son, J.B. Morris Jr., an attorney and UI law school alumnus, eventually headed the Des Moines Chapter.

A total of 24 students of minority ethnic status will attend colleges and universities across the country in 1997-98 with Morris Scholarships. Preference is given to Iowa residents who are attending an Iowa-based college or university.

"Because finances have traditionally been the foremost deterrent to higher education for minority students, the Morris Scholarship Fund plays a vital role in making it possible for deserving minority youth to pursue professional careers," said UI alumnus Nolden Gentry of the Morris Scholarship Fund Inc. board of directors.

7/29/97