Guest Opinion: Scholarships support life-changing opportunities

Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder thanks donors for affording student-athletes the ability to gain valuable life lessons in their athletic endeavors.


Joseph Cress

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder, associate Jan Jensen, Megan Gustafson, Amanda Ollinger, Alexis Sevillian, Kathleen Doyle and Carly Mohns walk off the court after an Iowa/Purdue women’s basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018.

Being involved in sports my entire life, I’ve witnessed and experienced the many benefits of athletics. The lessons that our student-athletes learn from competing in intercollegiate athletics at the University of Iowa are much more valuable than winning games or matches. Our student-athletes gain the values of: teamwork, goal-setting, communication, and work ethic — to name a few — and these skills extend further than sports. These are life lessons that serve our men and women far beyond their time representing the black and gold.

But how do they get here? How are they provided the opportunity to practice these life-enhancing skills at the UI? The answer is through scholarship donations.

The generosity that our donors provide is not a one-time gift but a gift that is everlasting. Scholarship support enables another athlete to “Fight for Iowa” — and provides countless life-changing opportunities. The gift continues to give as our student-athletes grow through their experiences here on campus. It continues to thrive as student-athletes graduate, lead productive lives, and then return the favor by giving back to Iowa — the place that provided them with their opportunity.

Through the support of our faithful fans and their generous financial gifts, we, as Iowa coaches, are allowed the opportunity to compete for championships while continuing to mentor our next generation of leaders. For that reason, we salute you and thank you.

— Lisa Bluder, Women’s Basketball Head Coach