Ralph and Erica Kauten of Madison, Wis., have established an endowed scholarship at
Upper Iowa University.
FAYETTE, Iowa (June 19, 2012) –Ralph Kauten, formerly of rural Fayette County, Iowa, and his wife, Erica, have established an endowed scholarship at Upper Iowa University for students from the Fayette area.
Kauten, who attended UIU in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is a graduate of West Central Community School, Maynard, Iowa. The youngest of 11 children, he grew up in in rural Fayette County.
"The offering of a scholarship to Upper Iowa was the triggering event to launching my career and the rest of my life. Receipt of a scholarship made it possible for me to attend college so I feel it is appropriate to provide other young people the same opportunity," Kauten said. "Education has made a major difference in my life, especially through some of my former teachers. I am especially grateful to Emma Downing, my fourth grade teacher at Fayette Elementary School; Bill Burke, my science teacher at West Central Community School; and two of my UIU professors: David Mitchell, my freshman English teacher who went on to win a Pulitzer Prize; and my calculus professor, William Drake:"
"I want others to have those same life-changing opportunities," Kauten added.
UIU President Alan G. Walker noted, "At Upper Iowa University, we are committed to providing the most affordable, highest quality education possible and keeping our students' debt after graduation as low as possible. Gifts like this are essential to our ability to fulfill that commitment, and we are very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Kauten for giving back to the students at UIU."
Wendell Snodgrass, vice president for advancement, development and alumni relations, added, "Ralph is an exceptional man who recognizes the value that education has played in his life and who also recognizes that it is donors like he and Erica who enabled his experiences. Their gift will make the same difference in the lives of future Peacocks."
The Ralph Kauten Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to an incoming freshman with financial need. First priority is for students from West Central Community School, North Fayette Community School, or Valley Community School. The student may maintain the scholarship for four-years should they stay in good standing with the institution.
Once an accounting major at UIU, today Kauten is chairman and CEO of Quintessence Biosciences, which is working to improve the lives of cancer patients by developing new drugs based on EVade™ Ribonuclease technologies. Kauten has served as co-founder and leader in a number of biotechnology companies including Promega Corporation, PanVera Corporation, and Mirus Bio Corporation.
His wife, Erica, originally from Los Angeles, Calif., was the Wisconsin State Director of the Small Business Development Centers, a network of 12 service centers and three specialty centers located at four-year University of Wisconsin campuses.
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to over 6,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing