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Beloved professor James McCullagh leaves $1.1M legacy gift to student scholarships


James McCullagh, a longtime professor of social work at the University of Northern Iowa who died in 2022, left a $1.1 million legacy gift to provide financial support for students pursuing a social work major at the university. McCullagh taught in UNI’s Department of Social Work for 40 years, and during that time he received several awards, including the Regents Award for Teaching and the Randy A. Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award. The gift will provide scholarships through three funds to support students’ academic excellence, leadership and financial needs. McCullagh’s wife, Cheryl, was also a social worker and was recognized for her work in the field. In honor of their contributions, the UNI campus will soon dedicate the Dr. James and Cheryl McCullagh Atrium.

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