CONTACT: SHANNON MILLER
Director of Development
UI College of Medicine/UIHC
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973
Release: Dec. 19, 2000
UI College of Medicine event celebrates financial aid for medical students
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Medicine, which trains
half of the state's physicians, is prescribing a healthy dose of scholarships
to attract medical students to the UI and keep them in school. Amid growing
national concern that the country's best medical students will find burgeoning
education costs too big a pill to swallow, officials attending the college's
second annual Student Scholarship Awards Luncheon renewed the college's commitment
to expand endowed student support. The awards luncheon, held recently at the
UI's Levitt Center for University Advancement, successfully brought together
scores of students and contributors to celebrate a shared interest in helping
Co-sponsored by the College of Medicine and the University of Iowa Foundation,
the event was attended by 65 UI medical students who have received privately
funded scholarships for the 2000-2001 academic year and several contributors
from around Iowa and the Midwest for whom the scholarships are named.
Robert P. Kelch, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine, reported that fund-raising
efforts and gifts to more than 50 student aid funds have produced earnings
of nearly $600,000 in annual awards for the current year, up from roughly
$230,000 just a few years ago.
"We've made tremendous progress, due in large part to leadership gifts
from contributors whose commitment to the college is admirable and greatly
appreciated," he said.
Kelch noted that while the financial burden on Iowa students is significantly
less than indebtedness at peer institutions nationwide, in 2000 the average
educational debt incurred by a UI graduating medical student is $76,000, up
from $48,000 in 1995. Nine out of 10 medical students face significant debt
after graduation. "The best way to correct this trend is through efforts
like increased scholarship support," he said.
Alleviating the pressure of debt on Iowa medical students is a priority,
Kelch said. Among its campaign goals within the UI's planned comprehensive
campaign, the College of Medicine will target efforts to raise $20 million
toward endowed scholarships for medical students. Dennis L. Boatman, UI clinical
associate professor of urology and lead volunteer for the scholarship initiative,
said this plan will have payoffs for students as well as society.
"When indebtedness influences our brightest students to pursue careers
away from medicine, it becomes a major problem for all of us," Boatman
said. "When we're recovering from illness or injury, we want the 'best-of-the-best'
taking care of us."
Ivy Andersen, a third-year medical student from Algona, Iowa, whose husband,
J.J., is also enrolled in the College of Medicine, paid tribute to scholarship
contributors by noting their gifts provide UI students benefits beyond monetary
"My scholarship has greatly boosted my confidence and confirmed my
choice to pursue a career in medicine," she said. "It's wonderful
knowing someone is watching out for me, trusting that I have what it takes
to become successful in the medical profession. Some day my husband and I
hope to return the favor to future medical students."
The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to
all areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends
to generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements,
equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.