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Release: Jan. 14, 2002

NBC anchor Tom Brokaw creates UI scholarship for American Indian students

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw has established a scholarship fund for American Indian students at the University of Iowa. The first full-year scholarship recipient is expected to be named this spring for the 2002-2003 academic year.

Brokaw, anchorman and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News," established the Tom Brokaw Scholarship Fund for American Indian Students through a $50,000 gift to the UI Foundation. He attended the UI in 1958-59 and has since maintained significant interest in and ties to the university.

Brokaw said he has long had an interest in American Indian peoples and culture and their contributions to American society.

"From my years spent in South Dakota and elsewhere, and over the course of my career as a journalist, I have seen the kinds of opportunities that quality higher education can provide for American Indian students," Brokaw said. "I am especially happy to be able to provide such opportunities for these students at Iowa, an institution that was formative in my own education."

UI President Mary Sue Coleman said, "We are delighted by this scholarship support from Mr. Brokaw, and we appreciate his continuing generosity. This scholarship fund for American Indian students underscores the importance of helping students who come from under-represented groups attending the University of Iowa."

Brokaw joined NBC News in 1973 as White House correspondent. A recipient of Emmy, Peabody and DuPont awards for his reporting, he has held his current top position at "NBC Nightly News" since 1982.

For many years a generous contributor to the university, Brokaw has spoken a number of times at the UI and has been the "voice talent" on videos for several UI programs. In 1997 he received a Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the University of Iowa Alumni Association.

According to Joe Coulter, UI associate provost for diversity, the UI's American Indian programs enjoy several distinguishing traits, including:

-- The Iowa First Nations Program, which enables members of 12 historically Iowan Native American tribes and nations to attend the UI at the Iowa resident tuition rate, no matter where in the U.S. the students live.

-- The college guide "Winds of Change" calls the UI "a place of opportunity" for American Indian students. "In addition to offering an academic, financial and Indian support package to Native students," says the guide's entry about the UI, "the University of Iowa functions as a front-runner in Indian rights." The guide also cites the availability of Opportunity at Iowa Scholarships for students from underrepresented groups.

-- As a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the UI is joining with the Newberry Library in Chicago to create an unprecedented program devoted to American Indian Studies. The new CIC American Indian Studies Consortium will facilitate the development and training of graduate students in anthropology, history, literature, education and other fields whose academic research focuses on the cultures and experiences of American Indians.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university. To learn more about the UI Foundation, visit its web site at www.uiowafoundation.org.