Officials: Students will benefit from donations

Melissa Berg

The Iowa State University Foundation has raised more than $100 million in private support for the second year in a row, and officials say students will benefit from the fundraising in several ways.

“The money raised this year supports a number of different programs,” said ISU Foundation President Tom Mitchell.

In the 40 years the Foundation has been operational, it has raised almost $65 million for scholarships.

“Scholarships have the [most] direct impact on the students,” Mitchell said.

He said the Hixson Opportunity Awards Program is one of the most important scholarship programs at Iowa State.

“The Lied Foundation Trust and Christina Hixson have donated $10 million to the Hixson Opportunity Awards Program, which was started four years ago,” said Phyllis Lepke, vice president of ISU Foundation.

Lepke said Hixson’s goal for this program is to give students who might have been prevented from attending college because of family difficulties the opportunity through financial assistance. A student from each of Iowa’s 99 counties is chosen for the scholarship every year.

“It makes a very significant difference for many people,” Lepke said.

National Merit and National Achievement Scholars also benefit from private gifts.

Brian Kish, assistant director of annual giving at the ISU Foundation, said he appreciates the opportunity to help students through scholarships.

“It not only rewards hard work, but also helps those who have financial needs,” he said.

The Foundation also employs a large number of ISU students.

“[The Foundation is] one of the largest [student] employers on campus,” Mitchell said. “There are 20 to 30 students working as telemarketers each night.”

Any student interested in working for the ISU Foundation can fill out an application in Room 251 of the Memorial Union.

“Not only is it a paid position, but it will also be helping the university,” Kish said.

Mitchell said the Foundation also receives various private gifts, which are used to improve facilities in many of the colleges.

The College of Engineering’s Stanley and Helen Howe Hall, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Palmer Human Development and Family Studies Building and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Greenlee School of Journalism are examples of improvements made possible by the Foundation.

Other upcoming improvements include a capital project by the College of Design and upgraded technology in the Undergraduate Electronics Common of Parks Library.

“All of the new college updates create a stronger learning environment for the students,” Mitchell said. “Students should be proud of the record and the continuing support by the [donors].”