Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Feb. 6, 1998

Hixson scholarship fund grows to $12 million

by Steve Sullivan

A scholarship program that already is providing college opportunities for hundreds of Iowa high school graduates has become even bigger.

Officials announced Jan. 27 that the Lied Foundation Trust of Las Vegas, Nev., through its trustee, Christina Hixson, has given a second $5 million gift to the Hixson Opportunity Awards Program.

These gifts, the largest received by Iowa State from a private foundation, increase the Hixson award endowment to $12 million, making it ISU's largest privately funded scholarship program.

"Driven by her belief in the opportunity higher education can provide young people, Christina Hixson has created one of the premiere scholarship programs in the country at Iowa State University," said President Martin Jischke."As she has stated on many occasions, Christina Hixson doesn't give money, she gives opportunity. Her generosity in 1995 provided opportunity for hundreds of young Iowans, and this new gift will provide this opportunity for hundreds more in the coming years."

"I'm glad and happy to build upon this program," Hixson said. "Through these awards, we are touching young people who don't realize how special they are. By giving our youth an education, we are making a better world. I can't wait to see the first class graduate."

The Hixson Opportunity Awards endowment annually provides $2,500 freshman-year scholarships to 100 qualifying Iowa high school students. The goal is to bring the Hixson endowment to $17 million within five years. An endowment of this size would provide four-year, $2,500 scholarships for all students in the program.

Hixson has guaranteed funding to provide all Hixson students with four-year, $2,500 scholarships until the $17 million goal is met.

Hixson's first gift in 1995 provided the impetus for the President's Scholarship Campaign, then the largest scholarship drive in ISU history. Initially structured to raise $26 million, the campaign since has become part of the five-year, $300-million Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best.

Campaign Destiny already has generated approximately $224 million in private gift support, including almost $57 million for scholarships.

The Hixson Opportunity Awards were created for students -- one from each Iowa county -- who have the ability and desire to pursue college degrees but who face significant hurdles because of personal and financial hardships.

"Hixson students have faced incredible odds in their young lives, which have been turned upside down by divorce, catastrophic illness, the loss of a parent, financial difficulties and other problems," said Jischke. "But the drive and desire to succeed is incredibly strong among these young people, as is obvious from their retention rates and grade-point averages, which are above university and national averages."

The application deadline for fall 1998 Hixson Opportunity Awards is Feb. 15 for graduating seniors in Iowa high schools. Application forms are available at high school guidance counselors' offices, ISU Extension offices, 314 Alumni Hall, or by calling 4-6479. The Hixson Program web site is at

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