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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

June 21, 2005

Photo: Ernie "Allen" Bundgaard

Former CBS Radio Personality Creates UI Communication Studies Fund

University of Iowa alumni Ernie "Allen" and Mary Lee Bundgaard, of Breezy Point, Minn., have committed $260,000 to the UI Foundation to establish an endowed fund for the UI Department of Communication Studies, a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The Bundgaard Enhancement Fund in Communication Studies will provide resources to be used at the discretion of the department chair for broadcast studies.

Allen Bundgaard, a 1943 graduate of the department, was a radio personality during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, working in Omaha, Neb., Minneapolis and New York. Using the professional name Allen Gray, he was best known as a broadcaster for "Housewives Protective League," a popular CBS radio network program.

Allen Bundgaard is owner and board chairman of Breezy Point radio station KLKS (104.3 FM) -- where he also worked as Allen Gray before retiring from the air -- and its parent company, Lakes Broadcast Group Inc. Mary Lee Bundgaard, a 1942 UI sociology graduate, is retired after years of community service.

Kristine Fitch, chair of the UI Department of Communication Studies, said the fund will help the department offer innovative broadcast-studies initiatives.

"A discretionary resource like the Bundgaard Fund will enable us to encourage faculty and students to pursue new and exciting ways of understanding broadcast communication practices and processes and their effects on our world," Fitch said. "We are extremely grateful to the Bundgaards for their support." 

Allen Bundgaard, a native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he was a 1939 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, credits the UI with starting his broadcasting career. He said he is grateful to the university for making it possible for him, the first in his family to earn a college education, to study there.

"It was tough for my family to scrape together tuition," Bundgaard remembered. "The UI opened its doors to me, and did everything it could to help me create a good life for myself. I feel I owe the university, and I'm proud to be able to give back in this way."

The Bundgaard gift is part of the UI's $1 billion comprehensive campaign, which will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation.  Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort is raising private funds to help launch a variety of 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 its web site at

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

CONTACT(S): Program: Jeff Liebermann, Director of Development, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973,; Writer: Nic Arp

PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: A photo of Allen Bundgaard can be downloaded at the following web links --

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