C.J. and Ruth Shreck Medical Student Scholarship
Dr. Robert “Bob” Shreck and his wife, Cherie Lynn Vinz Shreck, have established this medical student scholarship to honor Dr. Shreck’s parents, Clark “C. J.” Shreck (1918-2005) and Ruth Shields Shreck (1920-2001), natives of New Market, Iowa.
C. J. was a 1941 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Commerce, the first in his family to ever obtain a college degree. He was the youngest son, and Ruthie the oldest daughter, of two southwest Iowa farm families impoverished by the Great Depression. As a result, C. J. paid his own way through college using savings from his New Market paper route and from three years service as a page in the Iowa Legislature. He also played clarinet during college, touring the country with well-known dance bands in the summers, and worked during the school years in University-established “co-op” dwellings.
His experience in self-funding his education was not unusual at the time as there were few scholarships, no grants and no established financial aid programs; also, a college education was much less expensive in the 1930’s. Such self-funding is now either impossible or dependent on acquiring debt.
After service in World War II as an instructor pilot in the Army Air Corps, C. J. moved his young family to Des Moines where he had a long and successful career in business.
C. J. never forgot the advantages conferred by his college education, and he maintained life-long contact with The University of Iowa. C. J. and Ruthie were close friends with another southwest Iowa boy, Loren Hickerson from Mt. Ayr, who established the UI Alumni Association, and the Shrecks were charter members. They were also charter members and loyal attendees of the Presidents Club and faithful supporters of the I-Club. They hosted annual Presidents Club receptions during their retirement in Naples, Florida. C. J. and Ruthie had their own “box” high up on the east side of what is now known as Kinnick Stadium—ten season tickets clustered together where they entertained family and friends since the 1960’s.
But perhaps most significantly they passed their love and devotion to the University of Iowa onto their children. In May 1971, son Bob, daughter Becky, and Bob’s wife Cherie all graduated with bachelor degrees from the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In May 1974, Bob graduated from the UI College of Medicine. In May 2002, Bob and Cherie’s daughter Heidi graduated from the UI College of Medicine. The next morning Bob and Cherie’s son John
graduated from the U of I College of Commerce, now called the Tippie College of Business, 61 years after Grandpa C. J., with Grandpa C. J. in the audience! And in January 2008, Becky’s daughter Sheyla graduated from the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Congratulations on receiving the C.J. and Ruth Shreck Medical Student Scholarship