CONTACT: JEFF EMRICH
Director of Development
College of Education
UI Foundation News
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242
$1 million gift supports Belin-Blank Center for gifted education
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Myron and Jacqueline Blank of Des Moines are continuing
their generous support for the University of Iowa by establishing a $1
million endowment fund through the UI Foundation. The gift will be used
to enhance technology at the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International
Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development in the UI College of
The endowment will provide a perpetual source of support for developing
innovative technology to serve gifted students, their families, and their
"This generous gift from Myron and Jacqueline Blank will further
assist us in our efforts to become a leading center for gifted education
and talent development," said Nicholas Colangelo, Belin-Blank Center
director and Myron and Jacqueline Blank Professor of Gifted Education.
The Belin-Blank Center was established in 1988 with financial support
from the Blanks and David Belin of Des Moines, and named for Belin's late
Myron Blank is president of Central States Theatre Corporation, Des
Moines; Jacqueline Blank is vice president and assistant secretary of the
The Blanks are not graduates of the UI but they are long-time UI supporters.
In 1990 the couple received the Distinguished Friend of the University
award from the UI Alumni Association. Also in 1990 they received the Outstanding
Philanthropist Award from the Central Iowa Chapter of the National Society
of Fund Raising Executives.
The Blanks' involvement in the UI College of Education dates to 1979,
when they established the Connie Belin Fellowship Program to help identify
talented and gifted students in Iowa.
"We are delighted with the developments of the program for the
gifted and talented under the direction of Nick Colangelo," Jacqueline
Blank said. "With the advent of new technologies, our dream is that
the endowed fund will enable the center to reach out to many more young
gifted students. Our future is bright and exciting."
Income from the Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank Endowment Fund for Technology
will be used to:
-- develop courses to be presented via computers, Internet, satellite,
Iowa Communications Network (ICN), and other technologies
-- present programs to students and teachers in rural areas and other
-- develop courses and electronic publications that can be put on CD-ROM
and exported statewide, nationally, and internationally
-- use satellite and ICN hook-ups to make available nationwide major
conferences taking place at the Belin-Blank Center
-- provide technology and equipment for staff presentations about the
center's research and service programs.
The Belin-Blank Center offers workshops, programs, and research to help
gifted children and their teachers reach their potential. The center draws
on the UI's strengths in areas related to gifted education to challenge
and motivate gifted children in a number of disciplines. The center expanded
its mission to the international level in 1995 and is now sharing its staff
expertise with other countries in furthering gifted education.
The UI Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions
to all areas of the UI. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends
to provide support for programs at the UI.