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CONTACT: ANDY PIRO
Associate Director of Development
Intercollegiate Athletics-Endowment
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-3305
e-mail:andrew-piro@uiowa.edu

Release: Sept. 24, 1999

Cedar Rapids couple endows scholarship for Iowa women's softball

IOWA CITY, Iowa--John and Peg Slusher of Cedar Rapids have stepped up to the plate and made history as the first contributors to fully endow a named scholarship for a specific position in women's athletics at the University of Iowa. Their generous commitment to the University of Iowa Foundation will create a scholarship for the student-athlete who plays catcher for the Iowa women's softball team.

Christine Grant, director of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics, says this is a landmark gift for the women's program. "The momentum of interest in women's sports has been building across the country," Grant said. "We are very pleased that two Iowans, who have been loyal fans of Iowa athletics, have selected Iowa women's softball for their commitment." The Slushers' gift is in response to "Hawkeye Visions," a long-term initiative to increase the number of endowed, named scholarships for student-athletes.

Peg and John Slusher are both retired employees of Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids. They started attending Iowa sporting events in the football season of 1981. "We have attended every bowl game except one while Hayden Fry was coach," he said. "We have season tickets for football, men's basketball, women's basketball, wrestling, and softball." Slusher described one weekend when they attended the National NCAA wrestling tournament in Oklahoma City, leaving after the last match on Saturday night and arriving in Iowa City on Sunday in time to see the Iowa women's basketball team play in an early round of the NCAA tournament.

"The softball team is so exciting to watch and the new softball complex is great for fans and players," said Peg Slusher. "We chose to endow the scholarship for the catcher because I felt it was one of the most difficult and demanding positions on the team."

Through the University of Iowa Foundation, the principal of the John and Peg Slusher Catcher's Scholarship Fund will remain untouched. Only the earnings will be used to pay tuition, room and board, and student fees for the Hawkeye catcher. "This gift will perpetually benefit the Hawkeyes," said Jana Egeland, associate director of development, Women's Intercollegiate Athletics. "We hope the Slushers' vision will inspire other Hawkeye fans to establish scholarships for the outstanding student-athletes who wear the black and gold."

For more information about how to establish a named scholarship in men's or women's athletics, contact Andy Piro, director of development, Intercollegiate Athletics-Endowment, at the University of Iowa Foundation-the preferred channel for private support to all areas of the UI. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to support scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements, research funds, and other projects.