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University of Iowa News Release


April 29, 2011

UI College of Nursing to honor recent donor

On Wednesday, May 4, the University of Iowa College of Nursing and the UI Foundation will dedicate the Barbara and Richard Csomay Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence.

In December 2010, Barbara Csomay, a UI graduate from Kanawha, Iowa, pledged a gift commitment to the UI Foundation of more than $2.2 million to help support and enhance services of the college's gerontological nursing program.

The dedication of the space, which will be housed on the fourth floor of the Nursing Building, will honor the Csomays and celebrate their generous support of this top-ranked program.

In addition to establishing the center, the commitment will also create the Barbara and Richard Csomay Doctoral Scholarship; the Barbara and Richard Csomay Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Scholarship; the Barbara and Richard Csomay Doctorate of Nursing Practice Scholarship; and the Barbara and Richard Csomay Scholarship in Gerontology.

"Older adults comprise the fastest-growing segment of the nation's population, which is why it's more crucial than ever for nursing educators and researchers to address aging-related issues," said Rita Frantz, Kelting dean and professor of the UI College of Nursing. "We are incredibly grateful to Barbara and Richard Csomay for their visionary and generous investment in this important field."

The UI College of Nursing has a long history of leadership in gerontological education, practice and research. "This gift will help us continue to lead the way in meeting the needs of older adults, their families and their caregivers," said Janet Specht, professor of nursing and director of the UI Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence.

According to the recently released 2012 edition of "America's Best Graduate Programs" by U.S.News & World Report, UI's Gerontological/Geriatric Nursing program is ranked No. 1 in the county*.

"It was so important to my late husband, Dick, and me to find an effective way to promote health care for an aging population in rural Iowa," Csomay said. "The UI College of Nursing is doing very meaningful work in this area, and I hope our gift will enhance its efforts to change people's lives."

Csomay graduated from Upper Iowa University in 1946 with a teaching degree in music. She earned a master's degree in music from the UI in 1956 and was a member of the UI Marching Band staff. She worked as a marching and symphonic band director in Fayette, Iowa; Garner, Iowa; Heidelberg, Germany; and Parma, Ohio. Her late husband, Richard, was an accomplished woodwind musician who received bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the Hartt College of Music and completed a doctoral degree in music at the Philadelphia Conservatory.

The dedication will take place Wednesday, May 4, at 3 p.m., on the fourth floor of the College of Nursing Building (50 Newton Road).

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

NOTE: *when compared to other public universities

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Bridget Hoffman, director of development, 319-467-3470,; or Liz Swanson, director, external relations, 319-335-7006,

PHOTOS: A high-resolution photo of Barbara Csomay and her late husband, Richard Csomay, is available at: A web-quality image is also available at