LAWRENCE, Kan A recent visit with students in the University of Kansas Department of Theatre inspired alumnus Jon Eicholtz and his wife, actress Barbara Eden, to make a $300,000 gift to provide an undergraduate scholarship for students who plan to be professional actors.
"I had a desire to do something for the university in acknowledgement of and return for what it had done for me. KU gave me a foundation for my life," Eicholtz said. "It also was important to me that this gift be meaningful to Barbara, and that it be a reflection of her career."
Barbara Eden starred in the popular 1960s television series "I Dream of Jeannie," which ran for five seasons. The show has aired continuously on cable and in syndications for more than four decades. She has starred in 25 feature films, five network TV series and 19 top-rated network made-for-television movies.
The inaugural recipient of the Jon T. Eicholtz and Barbara Eden Acting Scholarship will be announced during the department's annual award presentation ceremony Friday, May 9. Students auditioned for the scholarship last week.