“Through scholarship support, I’m blessed with opportunities that would not be possible without our amazing donors,” says Dixon. “I’m so grateful for their generosity.”

Countless University of Iowa student-athletes share stories about childhoods spent dreaming of one day being a Hawkeye—donning the black and gold, listening to the roar of the crowd, celebrating with teammates after a big win.

But for women’s basketball junior guard Melissa Dixon, the Hawkeye dreams didn’t start until much later.

In fact, Dixon’s first real exposure to the University of Iowa came on a visit to campus as a high school basketball standout from Johnsburg, Illinois. She fell in love immediately, and knew right away that Iowa was where she wanted to be.

“I just loved everyone I met, from the women on the team to the coaches. I just had a really good feeling after visiting here,” says Dixon.

The feeling was so good, in fact, that Dixon chose to enroll at the UI and join the women’s basketball team without the promise of a scholarship, prepared to bide her time on the practice squad if necessary. Fortunately, she never had to do so. Dixon received word of a scholarship offer during her senior year in high school.

While at Iowa, Melissa was awarded the Kris Rogers Memorial Scholarship. Kris Rogers excelled as a Hawkeye student-athlete in softball and basketball from 1976 to 1982. Rogers, who became a successful local businesswoman after graduating from the UI in 1983, died of cancer in 1994 at the age of 36. Contributions made in her memory by family and friends helped establish the endowed scholarship in her name at the UI Foundation, honoring a legacy that student-athletes like Melissa Dixon are proud to continue.

A recreation and sports business major, Dixon had a chance to take her Iowa experience beyond the classroom throughout the summer of 2013 with an internship opportunity at the UI Foundation. She was able to see firsthand the impact of private support on student-athletes.

Melissa Dixon has enjoyed plenty of success as a Hawkeye on the court as well as off. Her 2012-2013 basketball season included:
• Big 10 Sixth Player of the Year Award
• Led the Hawkeyes in scoring during conference play
• During conference play, led the Big 10 in three-point percentage, including finishing second in three-pointers made
• Tied the school record for three-pointers made by an Iowa player in Carver-Hawkeye Arena