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University of Iowa Foundation News Release


Nov. 13, 2008

Big Ten Network match generates more than $90,000 for UI flood relief

A $25,000 matching gift from the Big Ten Network to the University of Iowa Flood Relief Fund has spurred more than $65,000 in donations to the UI Foundation for the university's flood relief efforts, for a total of more than $90,000 from the network's initiative.

Nearly 200 individual contributors made more than $50,000 in gifts as a direct result of the Big Ten Network's challenge, which it promoted on its broadcasts and through a joint Web-based promotion with the UI Foundation. In addition, the network's efforts on behalf of the UI inspired Florida Citrus Sports to make a $15,000 gift for UI flood recovery.

Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said that when he learned of the emerging crisis as the floodwaters were rising, it didn't take long to decide to offer the network as a resource to provide relief. "We wanted to do anything we could to help," Silverman said, "and using our airwaves to help raise money made perfect sense."

Erin Harvego, the Big Ten Network's vice president, marketing, will present the check for the network's gift during a halftime ceremony this Saturday at the Iowa vs. Purdue football game in Kinnick Stadium on the UI campus. The game will be carried on the Big Ten Network starting at 11 a.m.

"As soon as the magnitude and impact of last June's flooding became apparent, the fine people at the Big Ten Network were in touch with us, expressing their concern and sympathy and asking how they could help," said UI President Sally Mason. "Their generosity as an organization, through this matching gift, and their above-and-beyond work in letting the country know of our plight, have directly benefited many people in the UI community. It also gave us some hope when we needed it most. All of us at the University of Iowa are most thankful."

As of Nov. 10, more than 2,600 contributors have given nearly $1.1 million to aid in UI flood recovery. Initial disbursements from the fund have been directed toward the needs of individuals materially affected by the flooding. So far more than 150 UI students, faculty and staff members have received assistance from the flood relief fund.

The Big Ten Network is the first national network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With more than 400 live events, the network is the destination for Big Ten fans across the country. Through a wide range of cable and satellite providers nationwide, the network is now available to 55 million households.

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 UI Foundation visit

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Shullaw, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973,; Writer: Forrest Meyer

EDITOR'S NOTE: Reporters wishing to speak with Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman can contact Elizabeth Conlisk at 312-665-0726 or