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Release: June 6, 2001

Iowa Voyagers celebrate 40th anniversary with travel preview show June 8

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Alumni Association's Iowa Voyagers program will mark its 40th year Friday, June 8 with a celebration and preview of its 2002 travel season.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is from 10 a.m. to noon at the Morse Board Room (fourth floor) in the Levitt Center for University Advancement, One West Park Road in Iowa City. Birthday cake and refreshments will be served; door prizes will be given away, featuring a free trip for two as the grand prize.

For 40 years, the University of Iowa Alumni Association (UIAA) has hosted tours through the Iowa Voyagers program, offering vacation destinations that have an educational focus.

Part of the UIAA's Spring Reunion activities, the celebration will bring together past travelers and introduce new travelers to what Iowa Voyagers has to offer. Travel representatives will be on hand to describe over 30 Iowa Voyagers destinations for 2002, ranging from an Amazon River adventure to a Great Lakes cruise. Some of the new tours this year include Alumni College in Norway, an Italian cooking program in Umbria, Culture and History of Cuba, and Young Alumni Abroad tours to Holland, Ireland, Switzerland or Austria.

Last year, 620 people took part in the program, compared with the 43 people who traveled in the Alumni Association's first annual trip in 1961. The program was named Iowa Voyagers in 1988.

Anyone interested in quality educational travel is eligible to join the Iowa Voyagers; travelers don't have to be alumni to participate. UI faculty and staff often host the tours, including Norm Luxemberg, a retired professor of Russian, who will accompany the Seine River cruise in September 2001. UI athletic trainer John Streif is hosting Alumni College Abroad in Austria this month.

"In its 40 years of taking travelers around the world, the Iowa Voyagers program has sparked plenty of long-lasting friendships in these high-quality educational tours. When anyone asks me what makes the Iowa Voyagers special, I tell them it's the people. Our travelers are pleasant, down- to-earth people who have a common desire to learn on an enjoyable travel experience," said Diane Baker, Iowa Voyagers program director.

Randy Low, a 1974 graduate of the UI from Fairfax, Va., took her ninth trip with the Voyagers last year. She finds the price of traveling singly reasonable, and has struck up many friendships, including one with a new travel partner, Phyllis James, a 1959 UI grad from Fort Worth, Texas.

"It's been fun because they are such well-planned trips," she says. "You know you are going to stay in great hotels and see the best sites. Traveling with other Iowa grads is nice because there's that common point of contact."

Another single traveler, Janet Dallach, found out about the Voyagers through a relative. Though not an alumna, she has been happy to travel with the Voyagers, taking her sixth trip with the group this year.

"The trips are so well organized, " she said. "I can't say enough about how well done they are. All I have to do is get myself to the airport, and everything else is taken care of."

For more information about the Iowa Voyagers, visit its web site at http://www.iowalum.com/voyagers or call Baker at 1 (800) 469-2586 or (319) 335-3294 or email iowa-voyagers@uiowa.edu.