Deep roots in Iowa fuel support


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My roots in education in Iowa are deep. My parents — both teachers — raised my sister and me in Fairfax, not far from the University of Iowa. One of their favorite sayings was: You can’t ever lose an education. You might lose your house, your car, or your farm, but no one can take an education away from you.

I came to the university with a fundamental belief in the value of education. The Army ROTC program taught me confidence and leadership skills. I learned to think, write, and communicate my ideas in a way that would be critical to my more than 40-year career in advertising. And I never forgot the value of that advice from my parents.

My wife, Gerrie, and I support the UI Presidential Scholarship program. Presidential Scholarships are awarded to 20 accomplished high-school students each year. The students who receive these awards are leaders in their outstanding academic ability, integrity, commitment to their communities, and respect for diversity. When these students come here, they make significant and lasting contributions to the UI community.

Our connection to the program began when our oldest daughter, Julie, applied for and received a Presidential Scholarship more than 20 years ago. After hearing about Julie’s experiences as a Presidential Scholar and seeing the difference it made in her life as a student, Gerrie and I decided that, at a minimum, we needed to give the university at least one Presidential Scholarship.

Since then, Gerrie and I have had the privilege of supporting and meeting many Presidential Scholars, including one recipient who also was a Rhodes Scholar. And, frankly, after meeting and getting to know these students over the years, I can’t think of a better investment we could have made. These are truly impressive young people with tremendous potential. Through our giving, we have the opportunity to give students something that — as my parents would say — can’t be taken away.

Dean Buresh (1968 B.A., 1970 M.A.)
Edina, Minn.

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