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Scholarship Contributors Honored

James Vandenberg, the Mark Falb Quarterback Scholarship recipient, speaks to the crowd of almost 300 athletic endowed scholarship recipients and the scholarship contributors. (Photo by Bob Goodfellow)

James Vandenberg, the Mark Falb Quarterback Scholarship recipient, speaks to the crowd of almost 300 athletic endowed scholarship recipients and the scholarship contributors. (Photo by Bob Goodfellow)

Dec. 13, 2011

Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Named Athletic Scholarship Celebration is an annual event held to recognize athletic scholarship contributors and those student-athletes named to these special scholarships. This year's dinner and program, held last Thursday, was co-hosted by junior quarterback James Vandenberg, who spent the summer interning with the University of Iowa Foundation.

Vandenberg, the Mark Falb Quarterback Scholarship recipient, recalled some of his experiences as an intern, including the realization that the Hawkeye faithful's passion is equaled by their generosity.

"Having a scholarship to attend this university is a huge privilege, and something I take very seriously," said Vandenberg to the crowd of almost 300 people. "It is something I am thankful for every day.

"Not only do I now have a deeper sense of gratitude, I also now look forward to being a donor some day -- and passing it on," said Vandenberg of his internship experience, which included writing thank-you notes to donors and speaking at I-Club events.

Endowed scholarship support is a crucial source of funding, as athletics will pay the university approximately $9 million the next academic year to cover its scholarship bill. Earnings from the endowed funds are used to offset those costs. A permanent recognition piece honoring endowed athletic scholarship donors may be seen in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, on the concourse level.

Last year, Iowa moved from ninth in the Big Ten Conference in total scholarship endowment dollars to fifth with the realization of eight new endowed scholarship funds.

"Our contributors continue to support our student-athletes in the most generous of ways," said Matt Henderson, UI Foundation Executive Director of Development. "Last year's scholarship gifts were remarkable, considering the other significant capital campaigns (Carver-Hawkeye Arena Renovation Campaign and the Football Facilities Campaign) that were being conducted within athletics. Our donors share our very significant commitment to academic excellence."

UI Athletics' $40 million dollar scholarship endowment continues to grow, and last week's celebration of contributors and scholarship recipients was a great confirmation of Iowa's excellence in the classroom, and a heartfelt thank you to those who have carefully and generously given to ensure the stability of Iowa athletics in perpetuity.

To view a complete list of the named athletic scholarships, including the student-athletes who were named to each award, or to learn more about making a gift to the athletic scholarship endowment, please click HERE.