Upper Iowa University has announced an estate commitment establishing the Bernard and Susan Hay Scholarship Fund. Susan (Batty) Hay earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and physical education from UIU in 1971. A native of Columbus, Nebraska, Bernard Hay graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of Nebraska in 1969. The endowment scholarship honoring the retired couple will provide approximately $800,000 to support an endowed scholarship. With this commitment, the Hays join a growing number of alumni and supporters in UIU’s Heritage Society that recognizes those who designate UIU as a beneficiary in their estate plans.
The Bernard and Susan Hay Scholarship Fund will be awarded to first-year undergraduate students who are completing their degree in part through UIU’s Andres School of Education. Eligible students will be required to have demonstrated strong academic promise and a desire to pursue higher education. Candidates will be graduates of an Iowa public high school in the cities of Rudd, Rockford or Marble Rock. Preference will be given to students with a greater financial need.
“Our desire was to create scholarship programs to help ensure future students had the opportunity to gain a higher education as they seek to advance in our ever-changing world,” said Susan, a Rockford native. “It was also a priority to help minimize the amount of student debt that often accumulates, while providing additional opportunities and support for prospective students with financial need.”
Susan explained that the Hays Scholarship is among the four primary pillars of the couple’s estate plan, which reflects their key interests and aspirations. In addition to providing scholarship funding to their college alma maters, they intend to provide future support to their hometown communities, the humane treatment of animals, and wildlife conservation efforts.
“We have been very fortunate in our lives and have long felt it was not only important but an obligation for us to help organizations and future generations who provide benefits toward the betterment of mankind,” Bernard said. “We hope our scholarships will not only provide a stepping stone for students to attend UIU but also help them achieve a degree in education and pursue a rewarding career that is vitally important to the development of our society.”
The Hay scholarships will be awarded by the UIU Honors & Awards Committee and in collaboration with the Andres School of Education. Scholarships awarded by the fund will be applied to tuition and books, plus up to $1,000 for miscellaneous expenses, including fees. The one-year scholarships may be renewed for up to three years.
“The establishment of this scholarship is linked to the philosophies that Upper Iowa University shares with Bernard and Susan in regard to best preparing students to reach their educational and career goals,” Upper Iowa University President William R. Duffy said. “It has been my great honor to get to know Bernie and Susan. While the entire University greatly appreciates their gift in establishing the scholarship, we also value the newfound friendships we have developed in expanding the UIU family.”
Endowed funds restricted to the purpose of supporting scholarships or programming currently make up more than $9.5 million of UIU’s overall endowment. These endowments provide additional scholarship and programming support to UIU students, enhancing the overall student experience and contributing to UIU graduates leaving with student debt well below the state and national average.
Approximately 150 scholarships are awarded each spring as part of the annual UIU Scholarships and Awards Banquet. The list of 2018 recipients can be found at uiubridge.com/2018/06/21/3583/ or
For more information about how to establish or contribute to an endowed scholarship or program, or to become a Heritage Society member, please contact the UIU Office of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or (563) 425-5388.