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March 8, 2003

Couple gives farm proceeds to UI Foundation

From: Iowa City Press Citizen, IA - 08 Mar 2003

Campaign raises $600M, or 70.5 percent of goal

By Heather Woodward
Iowa City Press-Citizen
The story of John and Allie Dane and their children is a good example of how the UI Foundation is making gains - including this past quarter - toward its ambitious capital campaign.

Four of five of the Dane's children are affected by genetic auditory nerve problems. One daughter, 48-year-old Donna, is profoundly deaf. She received a cochlear implant last year and has undergone subsequent therapy at University Hospitals.

The Dane family's story is why John and Allie decided to donate proceeds from the sale of their 235-acre Clinton County farm in eastern Iowa to fund nerve deafness research at the University of Iowa.

"Anytime they might be able to cure nerve deafness, they would not only help Donna, but millions of people throughout the world," John Dane said. "They believe someday they will be able to regenerate auditory nerves. To me, this is very exciting, terrific news. I wanted to be a part of it."

The Danes also donated a 40-acre parcel of their Goose Lake farm to the foundation in December. That parcel sold Dec. 14 for $115,000, creating the John Dane Family Cochlear Implant Research Fund. Proceeds from the future sale of the remaining 195 acres will create a charitable trust that eventually will be given to the school.

The money will support the research of Bruce Gantz, head of UI's department of otolaryngology. Gantz and his team have made strides in stimulating auditory nerve growth and improving hearing through ear implant surgery.

The Dane gift represents just one that the UI Foundation has received during the past three months, bringing the total number of contributors to the school's capital campaign to 88,848.

Since Dec. 8, the foundation raised $37 million toward its $850 million capital campaign goal. To date, the campaign has received $600 million in private donations, or 70.5 percent of its goal.

The campaign is slightly more than halfway toward its finish in 2005.

"I think we've made some terrific progress under some pretty challenging conditions," said Stephen Sanders, foundation vice president for development programs.

However, Sanders said it is too early to discuss another hike in the school's $850 million goal. When the campaign kicked off in 1999, the goal was $750 million.

"We want to raise as much money as we possibly can," he said, "but I think we will probably hang where we are right now."

Unrestricted support and contributions for faculty are the only two areas that have failed to reach at least 60 percent of the campaign's targets. Donors have given $9 million in unrestricted gifts, or 30 percent of the $30 million campaign goal.

Sanders said unrestricted gifts are the most difficult donations to attract.

Gifts for faculty total $81 million, or 43 percent of the $189 million campaign goal.

"I'm a little surprised by that," Sanders said. "Before all is said and done, we will achieve that goal."

Meanwhile, funding for UI programs, which surpassed its $201 million campaign goal at least three months ago, continued to receive more support than other areas. The foundation raised $13 million for UI programs since December. To date, programs have generated $216 million in donations, or 107 percent of the campaign goal.

The campus campaign to generate donations from UI faculty and staff has raised $17 million to date. So far, about 25 percent of UI employees have contributed to the effort.

© 2003 Iowa City Press Citizen