CONTACT: BOB RAVENSCROFT
Director of Development
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: March 19, 1999
Bequests provide nearly $6 million in financial aid for
UI students from SE Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- At a news conference held at the University
of Iowa on March 19, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, UI President Mary
Coleman, and University of Iowa Foundation President Michael
New announced that two bequests totaling nearly $6 million have
been made to the UI Foundation for financial aid to UI students
from southeast Iowa. The estate gifts -- one of which is the
largest ever received by the foundation for student financial
aid -- will result in several new all-expenses-paid UI student
The $3.9 million bequest from the estate of Keokuk natives Clyde
W. James and Frances James will fund scholarships for students
attending the UI from high schools in Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson,
Lee and Van Buren counties in southeast Iowa, as well as those
transferring to the University of Iowa from Southeastern Community
College in Keokuk. Clyde James died in 1969, and Frances James
died in 1997.
A bequest of nearly $2 million from Berenice Gardner, a native
of Bonaparte, will benefit the Robert Nelson Cresap and Nan Walther
Cresap Memorial Fund at the UI Foundation. Gardner created this
endowed scholarship fund in 1996 in memory of her parents, who
were strong proponents of higher education. Preference for scholarship
recipients is given to students from southeastern Iowa. Gardner
died in Grinnell in January at the age of 96.
"Educational access is one of our top statewide priorities,"
said Vilsack. "These generous gifts will help ensure that
additional deserving young people can take advantage of the excellent
educational opportunities offered by the University of Iowa.
We also hope this support will encourage these students to remain
in Iowa to pursue their careers." Prior to his election
as governor, Vilsack served as mayor of Mount Pleasant and as
a senator in the Iowa legislature from the 49th District in southeast
"We are extremely grateful for these thoughtful and generous
gifts from Iowa alumni and friends," UI President Mary Sue
Coleman said. "These bequests will help us meet our ambitious
goals of providing additional merit-based scholarships for our
best and most deserving students."
UI Foundation President Michael New said the James and Gardner
gifts reflect the high priority placed on encouraging support
for student aid. "Our contributors clearly understand that
high-achieving students enhance the quality of the university
as a whole, and that private support is essential in attracting
these students to Iowa."
The Jameses grew up in Keokuk. Clyde James earned a bachelor's
degree from the University of Iowa in 1927, and the couple lived
for many years in Lincoln, Neb., where he worked for the Lincoln
National Life Insurance Company. Mrs. James moved to Sun City,
Ariz. after her husband's death in 1969.
The majority of the couple's estate was directed to the UI Foundation
to create the Mr. and Mrs. Clyde W. James Scholarship Fund, in
honor of their parents, Charles H. T. and Lulu W. James, and
Joseph and Lydia Vander Hayden, all of Keokuk.
According to Mark Warner, the UI's director of student financial
aid, four students will receive James Scholarships in August
1999. Each award will provide about $8,200 -- the cost of tuition,
health and computer fees, books and supplies, and room and board
at the UI for that academic year.
The number of James scholarships will grow to more than 20 in
future years. Tentatively, an additional seven will be awarded
in 2000, another six in 2001, and another five in 2002. The
number will fluctuate, based on number of community college transfers,
cost of education increases, and growth of the fund. The James
Scholarship may be renewed for additional years if the recipient
is a full-time student making satisfactory progress toward a
bachelor's degree. First preference will be given to graduates
of Keokuk High School and to graduates of Southeastern Community
College's Keokuk campus.
Gardner was not a UI graduate and spent most of her nursing career
in other states. But she was impressed with the quality of education
at the University of Iowa and decided that including UI scholarships
in her estate plans would be the best way to assure that talented
students from her home state would receive a good education.
She was attending the University of Chicago in 1929 when she
married Harry Gardner, a civil engineer. After he died in an
automobile accident in 1937, she returned to school. Gardner
earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve
University in Ohio, and a master's degree in education from the
University of Michigan. She practiced nursing in Flint, Mich.,
before she retired in 1967.
Recipients of both the James and Gardner scholarships will be
selected by a committee of UI financial aid and admissions staff.
For scholarship application information, contact the UI Office
of Financial Aid at 319-335-1450.
The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of
support for private contributions to all areas of the University
of Iowa. Foundation staff members work with alumni and friends
to provide support for a broad range of programs and projects
at the University of Iowa.