FAYETTE, Iowa (February 25, 2010) – Upper Iowa University is the recent recipient of a $125,000 gift from the estate of La Vonne I. Gutches, wife of the late William F. Gutches, a 1929 graduate of UIU. Upper Iowa will establish an endowed annual scholarship in the couple’s names. The value of the gift is expected to increase to about $200,000.
William and La Vonne Gutches were married in 1932. He had a successful 41-year career teaching and coaching in secondary education, starting out in the Iowa schools of Maynard, Dows, Soldier and Onawa. After he earned his master’s degree in physical education from Columbia University, the couple moved to Illinois where he served as high school football coach and athletic director at Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harold L. Richards High Schools, both in the southern suburbs of Chicago. La Vonne worked at Northern Trust in Chicago for 26 years. They retired to Mesa, AZ, in 1976.
The William F. and La Vonne I. Gutches Scholarship will be awarded to a deserving UIU junior or senior, majoring in education or physical education, who maintains a minimum 3.0 grade point average who plans to coach, and who has long-term career aspirations of becoming an athletic director or administrator.
“A bequest from our alumni is always greatly appreciated,” said Dr. Alan G. Walker, president. “But a cash gift of this level that is intended to aid our students at a time when all types of educational assistance are being cut is especially meaningful.”
The Gutches’ estate is being administered by long-time friend of the couple, Elva Davies, wife of the late John Leonard Davies, also a 1929 graduate of UIU. Bill and Len became friends during their college years at Upper Iowa. Bill played football under legendary Coach John ‘Doc’ Dorman. Both men became members of "The Old Time Peacocks” that was organized by another UIU graduate, “Swede” Selgelid. Elva Davies currently resides in Apache Junction, AZ.
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
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 6,600 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. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.