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CONTACT: TOM DE PRENGER
Director of Development
Special University Initiatives
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: April 23, 2001

Waterloo physician funds UI Presidential Scholarship

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa graduate Dr. Cassandra Foens has given her alma mater $150,000 through the UI Foundation to endow a Presidential Scholarship, the UI's most prestigious scholarship awarded competitively to first-year students. Presidential Scholars must be in the top 5 percent of their high school class with an ACT composite score of 30 or above.

A radiation oncologist at Covenant Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo, Iowa, Foens said she finds it rewarding to be a source of support for young people as they embark on their futures.

"A Presidential Scholarship at the University of Iowa is an opportunity for Iowa's best and brightest to pursue their educational dreams with a passion," said Foens, an Iowa native who grew up in Waterloo.

Foens encourages others to make similar contributions so they will have an opportunity to meet, interact with and mentor young people. "I have been fortunate. The timing was right for me to do something right now to help change a young person’s life," she said.

"This contribution demonstrates Cassandra Foens’ commitment to advancing higher education," said Mark Warner, the UI’s director of student financial aid. "She has been a wonderful model for aspiring medical students, talented faculty and fellow alumni. This generous endowment in support of students helps them achieve their goals at the UI as we pursue our ambitious goals in teaching and research excellence."

Foens completed a bachelor’s degree in general science in 1983 and her medical degree in 1987. She completed a residency in radiology oncology in 1992. Foens practiced medicine in Michigan for two years but says she jumped at the chance to return to her hometown when a position opened at Covenant in 1994.

She serves on a number of national medical committees, representing her medical profession and the state of Iowa, and will serve a two-year term as head of medical staff at Covenant beginning July 1.

Foens’ gift is part of the university’s planned comprehensive campaign to advance the UI’s strategic goals for the years 2000-2005. The campaign, which is in its early stages and for which no final dollar goal has been established, will be conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation and will raise funds to substantially increase the number of UI merit- and need-based scholarships, as well as the number of endowed faculty chairs and professorships; support eight new educational and research facilities; fund outreach and service programs to benefit individuals, families, and communities throughout the state of Iowa; build the UI’s endowment; and launch new initiatives in the arts, sciences, business, health care, and other fields.

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.