Education & Schools
Treasurer Fitzgerald Reminds Iowans it is Their Last Chance to Celebrate 529 Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Michael Fitzgerald   
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 12:49

Register for a chance to win a $529 College Savings Iowa Account

DES MOINES, IA (05/24/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald wants to remind Iowans it is their last chance to celebrate 529 Day by registering to win a $529 College Savings Iowa account for a child in their life. "I encourage everyone to register for the giveaway and explore the benefits of using a 529 plan, such as College Savings Iowa, to save for their loved ones' future higher education expenses," Fitzgerald said. "By starting early, saving a little at a time and making smart investment choices, families can make their savings work for them." For more information and to register for the giveaway, please visit www.my529iowaplan.com before May 31.

May 29, 529 Day, helps bring attention to the fact that saving for college is one of the most significant things families can do for the children in their lives. Those who begin putting away money early and save little by little can, over time, make their college savings add up to a significant amount. Because saving for future educational expenses is so important, Iowa families are encouraged to open a College Savings Iowa account for a special child in their life.

College Savings Iowa offers families a tax advantaged way to save money for their children's higher education. It only takes $25 to open an account, and anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – can invest in College Savings Iowa on behalf of a child. Participants who are Iowa taxpayers can deduct contributions up to $2,865 per beneficiary from their 2011 adjusted gross income, and there are no income or residency restrictions.* Investors can withdraw their investment federally tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and certain room and board costs at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad. To learn more about College Savings Iowa, please visit www.collegesavingsiowa.com or call1-888-672-9116.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. The earnings portion of non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

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Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. Participants assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences. If you are not an Iowa taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

For more information about the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan, call 888-672-9116 or visit www.collegesavingsiowa.com to obtain a Program Description. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Program Description; read and consider it carefully before investing.

 
Area Students Graduate from Creighton University PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 11:46

OMAHA, NEB.– (05/20/2011)(readMedia)-- Creighton University conferred the largest number of degrees ever at its May commencement – more than 1,500 – to students from 46 states and seven countries. Two ceremonies were held Saturday, May 14, at the Qwest Center Omaha – The undergraduate schools, School of Law and Graduate School ceremony were held in the morning. The ceremony for Health Sciences professional schools, including schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy and Health Professions, was held in the afternoon. University President the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., presided at both ceremonies-his last as Creighton president.

The following students from your area received degrees during the commencement ceremonies:

Kelsie Knutsen of Bettendorf earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree

Stephan Marsh of Bettendorf earned a law degree

Special awards and recognitions were presented to leaders or groups who have made a difference locally, nationally and internationally.

Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, Cuba received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for a life dedicated to promoting religious freedom in Cuba.

An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree was presented to the Rev. John Foley, S.J., founder of Cristo Rey Schools and executive chair of Cristo Rey Network.

A Presidential Medallion was given to Omaha area survivors of the Holocaust who endured great hardship with dignity and faith in German concentration camps during the 1940s when six million Jews were killed. After the war, 200 survivors found their way to the Omaha area with fewer than three dozen currently alive. Accepting the award for the group was survivor Beatrice Karp.

Creighton's Alumni Achievement Citation – the highest award given to an alumnus – was presented to Cage S. Johnson, M.D., a 1965 graduate of the School of Medicine. Johnson is an international authority on sickle cell disease, a serious disorder in which the body manufactures misshapen red blood cells that block blood flow, causing severe pain and organ damage.

Also receiving recognition in the afternoon was Shirley A. Blanchard, Ph.D., associate professor of Occupational Therapy, who will receive the Creighton Students Union Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement. Blanchard has served in the health care field for more than 30 years as an occupational therapist, researcher and educator.

About Creighton University: Creighton University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution located in Omaha, Neb., enrolls more than 4,100 undergraduate and 3,200 professional school and graduate students. Nationally recognized for providing a balanced educational experience, the University offers a rigorous academic agenda with a broad range of disciplines, providing undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs that emphasize educating the whole person: academically, socially and spiritually. Creighton has been a top-ranked Midwestern university in the college edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine for more than 20 years. For more information, visit our website at: www.creighton.edu.

 
Salute to Graduates PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Sen Chuck Grassley   
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 11:42

by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Congratulations to all the high school and college graduates who this month celebrate hard-earned academic achievements and scholastic success.  Enjoy the pomp and circumstance and school traditions, from the caps and gowns to the commencement speeches and graduation ceremonies.  By earning a high school diploma or advanced college degree, our young leaders have earned the accolades and support from their family and friends gathering to celebrate these milestones.

The United States also is celebrating a milestone this month against the war on terror.  After nearly a decade-long search for the mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks, U.S. military and intelligence forces found Osama bin Laden.  He was killed during a covert raid on what turned out be to be his hideaway in Pakistan, half a world away from the devastation and agony he unleashed in America on September 11, 2001.

Just consider the graduates of the Class of 2011 have lived half of their lives in an era shaped by terrorism.  Many members of this generation joined the military after 9/11, putting their lives on the line to protect their country and defend the freedoms for which it stands.  Following in the footsteps of World War II veterans who sacrificed life and limb to end a reign of tyranny shaped by Nazism, Imperialism and Fascism, our men and women in uniform today are once again fighting for liberty and justice to preserve freedom and our American way of life.

Thanks in large measure to the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans and current soldiers and sailors, today’s graduates have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and taste the fruits of freedom and free enterprise from the tree of liberty.

Plenty of uncertainties exist -- from the lukewarm job market, to high gas prices, school loans, national debt and natural disasters -- that arguably cast a shadow over the next chapter for the Class of 2011.

However, as smiling graduates walk across the stage to receive their diploma, the energy and excitement hanging in the air symbolize a collective sense of optimism and hope that will help them achieve their dreams.  Dwelling on what could go wrong instead of taking risks and putting in the extra effort to succeed would undermine the hard work and sacrifice that today counts them among the Class of 2011.

Representing Iowans in the United States Senate, I appreciate both the uncertainty and the fresh-faced optimism I see so often with new graduates and young job applicants.  While new graduates work to land a job or continue their education, I’m working in Washington to help better manage the federal budget, revive the U.S. economy and boost job creation.  During visits with students in school districts across Iowa, I’ve found younger generations want the federal government to work together and stop overspending.  They’ve figured out the national debt will fall disproportionately on their shoulders.  The $14 trillion dollar national debt translates into roughly $45,000 for every man, woman and child in America.

If Washington fails to rein in federal spending, graduates entering the job market today will face an unbearable tax burden throughout their lives in the workforce.

Consider a recent report issued in May by the Social Security and Medicare trustees. The findings shifted the projected insolvency dates earlier than before, finding Medicare’s trust fund exhausted in 2024 and Social Security’s in 2038.  Today’s demographics simply can’t support the status quo.  Consider life expectancy in 1930 was 59.2 years, whereas, someone born in 2006 can expect to live to 77.7 years.  A shrinking pool of U.S. workers is financing a growing pool of retirees collecting federal pension and health care benefits.

These two entitlement programs account for two of the largest drivers of projected federal deficit spending.  With combined annual budgets of $1.3 trillion, they also account for one-third of total federal spending.  What’s more, Medicare costs are on track to soar as more baby boomers qualify for the program and health care costs rise faster than revenue.

Political leaders in Washington have a big job to do.  Let’s hope we don’t travel down the tiresome path of political demagoguery.  I’d like to raise the bar of expectations and challenge the White House and Congress to solve problems together for the good of the country.

I encourage the graduates from the Class of 2011 to set a high bar of expectation for themselves, as well.  America is built on the can-do spirit that challenges each successive generation to out-do the achievements of the one preceding it.  Whether setting their sights on working for or opening a business, or pursuing military or public service, graduates from the Class of 2011 have a chance to make a difference.

Please celebrate safely and responsibly.  America is counting on your generation of innovators and hard workers to keep the American Dream alive.

Friday, May 20, 2011

 
Andrea Solomonson of Orion Named to University of Evansville Dean's List PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 13:18

EVANSVILLE, IN (05/17/2011)(readMedia)-- The University of Evansville is proud to announce that Andrea Solomonson of Orion, IL, has achieved a place on the Dean's List.

Solomonson, a Management major, made the Dean's List for academic achievements during the Spring Semester 2011. To make the Dean's List, a student at UE must earn at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

"At the University of Evansville, students experience a rigorous curriculum built on exposure to great ideas, timeless themes, significant questions, and multiple perspectives," said UE President Thomas A. Kazee. "Earning a place on the Dean's List shows incredible commitment to academic achievement, and students such as Andrea Solomonson and their families should be incredibly proud of this accomplishment."

 
Davenport resident Katelyn Flynn graduates in Olivet's first Honors Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Friday, 13 May 2011 13:55

BOURBONNAIS, IL (05/13/2011)(readMedia)-- Katelyn J. Flynn, an English major from Davenport, graduated magna cum laude with Olivet Nazarene University's first cohort of 14 students in the undergraduate Honors Program. She has been accepted at Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, Va.

Honors Program graduates received their degrees along with 1,683 other graduates during the 2011 Commencement convocations Saturday, May 7, in the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel.

"Our Honors students are bright young adults who give me faith for the future of our country," said Dr. Sue Williams, director of Olivet's Honors Program. "They are going out to serve others, not just to acquire. I'm proud of them. Several of them are going either to graduate school or taking jobs right out of college due, in part, to their scholarship and being in this program."

Launched in 2007, Olivet's Centennial year, the Honors Program immediately attracted academically talented students with unique interests and special academic ambitions. The goal of the program is to encourage and nurture the students in the integration of Christian faith and scholarship, preparing them for servant leadership in the Church and the world.

Each student was accepted into the program based on his/her ACT score, application, essay and an on-campus interview. During their years at Olivet, each completed a rigorous program of specially designed honors-level courses in addition to fulfilling all academic requirements for their majors. They also completed many community service opportunities and attended several cultural events. The culmination of their work was their mentored research and presentation of that research at an honors research symposium.

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering over 120 areas of study. It is centrally located in the historic village of Bourbonnais, Illinois - just 50 miles south of Chicago's loop - with additional School of Graduate and Continuing Studies locations in Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Ill. and throughout Chicagoland.

 
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