Scholarship Athletes and Representatives Recognized at 17th Annual Event

Prior to Iowa men’s basketball’s exciting 98-93 victory over Notre Dame in this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the UI Foundation and UI Department of Athletics hosted the 17th Annual Named Scholarship Celebration. This special event honors endowed athletic scholarship contributors and their student-athlete recipients. A record 370 donors and student-athletes in attendance.

The dinner was held in the Transamerica Student-Athlete Training Center inside the Dale and Marilyn Family Pavilion at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and provided guests the opportunity to hear from five student-athlete speakers and UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta.  Donors and student-athletes have the opportunity to interact during the evening and form a special connection that often extends throughout student-athletes’ careers.

“Our scholarship contributors value the opportunity to help our student-athletes succeed both academically and athletically, and a highlight of this event is the chance to meet their recipient in person.  The opportunity for endowed scholarship donors to meet the student-athlete recipient of their scholarship allows for a personal connection to their gift,” said Matt Henderson, Executive Director of Development at the UI Foundation.

“At Iowa, we have been given opportunities to help others and make new friends.  Opportunities to become better athletes and better people.  Opportunities to win championships,” stated Steven Ihm, the evening’s keynote speaker and a senior men’s golfer from Peosta, Iowa, who was the recipient of the Bucky O’Connor Men’s Golf Scholarship.  “These opportunities have come in many different ways, and I am grateful to have experienced them as a Hawkeye.”

Ihm concluded his remarks by thanking the donors on behalf of all of the endowed scholarship recipients for “changing our lives and for supporting the Hawkeye Way.”

In addition to Ihm, Niki Schultheis (field hockey), Katie Nasenbenny (soccer), Michael Swank (tennis), and Brett Van Sloten (football) each provided insight on being a student-athlete, talked about the importance of private support, and presented part of the evening’s program.

“The Named Scholarship Celebration is one of the best events we host each year.  It provides that unique opportunity to thank those donors who have invested in scholarship support and highlight our wonderful student-athletes,” said Barta. “Scholarship support is critical to our fundraising efforts.  Each contribution to our scholarship endowment is a commitment to the long-term stability of our program.”

The endowed scholarship contributors and their student-athlete recipients were recognized at halftime of the men’s basketball game.  A photo gallery of the Named Scholarship Celebration and the halftime recognition, as well as information about athletic scholarship support and how you can DOUBLE the impact of a scholarship gift through 2017, is available HERE.

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