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University of Iowa Foundation News Release


Sept. 30, 2008

Former dean leaves more than $2 million in gifts for UI

Capping seven decades of service and generosity to the University of Iowa, Dewey Stuit, dean of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) from 1948 to 1977, left an estate gift to the UI Foundation of more than $2 million. Stuit died Jan. 9, 2008.

The gift added to several existing funds at the UI Foundation, many of which were created by Stuit and his wife, Velma, who died in 1997. The new and existing funds provide scholarship support for CLAS and Honors Program students, professorship support for the Department of Psychology (a unit of CLAS) and discretionary support for the UI Museum of Art and the following CLAS areas: Department of Psychology, Department of Religious Studies, Department of Theatre Arts, School of Art and Art History and School of Music.

CLAS Dean Linda Maxson said the gift, established through charitable bequests in Stuit's will, is especially meaningful to CLAS and the university.

"Dewey and Velma Stuit helped shape the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University of Iowa into the robust institutions they are today," Maxson said. "As dean, I have often looked to Dewey for inspiration and guidance, and his and Velma's financial support has helped many UI students and faculty do outstanding work. This estate gift is one more part of the extensive Stuit legacy at the UI, and a particularly important and visionary one. We are honored and touched."

During Dewey Stuit's lifetime, he made gifts to the UI Foundation for 53 consecutive years. His and Velma's gifts while they were living totaled more than $1.3 million. Those gifts included the establishment of nine gift funds to support CLAS. In 1998, the UI awarded the Stuits the Distinguished Alumni Award for Faculty/Staff Achievement.

Born in Fulton, Ill., Stuit came to the UI in 1938 as a professor of psychology specializing in education psychology, a position he held until his retirement in 1977. He was also director of the student counseling office from 1946 to 1949 and dean of student personnel services from 1947 to 1950.

In 1948, Stuit was appointed acting dean of the College of Liberal Arts, as CLAS was then known. His appointment became permanent in 1949, and he held the position until his retirement in 1977. During his tenure he oversaw substantial curricular expansion within the college, the establishment of an honors program, and the implementation of rules allowing greater flexibility in degree fulfillment requirements.

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 its Web site at

PHOTOS: A high-resolution image of Dewey Stuit is available at

A web-quality image also is available at

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Shullaw, UI Foundation, 319-335-3305 or 800-648-6973,; Writer: Nic Arp