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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

Jan. 11, 2005

School Of Journalism And Mass Communication Receives $150,000 In Gifts

Philip R. and Joan C. Currie of McLean, Va., have given $50,000 to support construction of the new facility that will house the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication (J-MC School), a part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In addition, the W.E. Ruebush Foundation of Waterloo, Iowa, has made a gift of $100,000 in support of scholarships and internships for students in the school. Both gifts were made through the UI Foundation.

The Curries' gift advances the effort to equip and enhance the Philip D. Adler Journalism and Mass Communication Building, a 65,500-square-foot facility on Madison Street in Iowa City, immediately north of the UI Main Library. In recognition of the Curries' generosity, the UI will name one of the building's seminar rooms, specially designed to celebrate the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, which guarantees a free press and free speech, in their honor. The Adler Building is scheduled to open for classes on Jan. 18, 2005; it is scheduled to be officially dedicated on Sept. 30, 2005.

Philip Currie, originally of Mason City, Iowa, is senior vice president/news of the newspaper division of Gannett Company Inc., publisher of 101 daily newspapers in the United States, including the Iowa City Press-Citizen and the Des Moines Register. He graduated from the UI in 1962 with a B.A. degree in journalism and mass communication, and is a member of the J-MC School's Professional Advisory Board.

Pamela Creedon, the director of the J-MC School, said the Curries' gift demonstrates their commitment to excellence in journalism education.

"Phil Currie is one of our school's most successful graduates and a great friend of our program," Creedon said. "As a top executive of one of the nation's most influential media companies, he understands well the importance of first-rate journalism and mass communication education, both to aspiring professionals and to companies like Gannett who depend on schools like ours to graduate the next generation of outstanding journalists. The Adler Building will allow us to continue to lead and to provide excellent opportunities for our students. We couldn't be more grateful for Phil and Joan's support."

The W.E. Ruebush Foundation's gift will establish the Florence Ruebush Endowed Internship Support Fund and the Florence Ruebush Endowed Scholarship. The internship fund will be used to defray the expenses faced by undergraduate J-MC School students wishing to take part in career-building internships across the United States or abroad. The scholarship resources will provide financial assistance for qualified J-MC School students.

The W.E. Ruebush Foundation was established by Walton E. and Florence A. Ruebush of Waterloo. Florence Ruebush graduated with a B.A. degree in English, with an emphasis in journalism, in 1927. While at the UI, she was society editor for the Daily Iowan newspaper and went on to write for the Davenport Democrat and the Waterloo Daily Courier. She died in 1999, eight years after Walton Reubush's death in 1991.

"Helping outstanding students afford a UI journalism and mass communication education, and helping them meet the costs of relocating to other cities for internships, is an excellent way to honor the Ruebushes' legacy," Creedon said. "We are grateful to be remembered by an alumna of the school who clearly valued her education here. This gift will benefit generations of UI journalism students." 

The Currie and Ruebush gifts are part of the UI's $1 billion comprehensive campaign. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the fund-raising effort will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. The campaign is raising private funds to help launch educational initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university.  For more information about the "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" campaign, visit the UI Foundation's web site at www.GoodBetterBestIowa.org.

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, 500 Levitt Center for University Advancement, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Liebermann, director of development, Social Sciences and Humanities, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 800-648-6973, jeff-liebermann@uiowa.edu; Writer: Nic Arp