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Harris family named 2003 UNI Family of the Year

September 18, 2003
Contact: 

Keevan Kosidowski, director of annual giving, UNI Foundation, (319) 273-6078
Vicki Grimes, University Marketing and Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa 2003 Family of the Year will be recognized by the UNI Parents Association on Saturday, Sept. 27, part of the annual UNI Family Fest, Sept. 26-28.

The David and Linda Harris family of Cedar Falls will be honored at an outdoor tailgate event, from 2 to 4 p.m., prior to the UNI football game against Northwestern State University in the UNI-Dome. They also will be recognized at half-time of the football game.

The Harris family includes parents David and Linda, and their children Kim, Kari and Matt. Matt, a UNI senior, nominated his family for the award because of the role they played in his decision to attend UNI.

'Choosing a college wasn't difficult,' said Harris. 'My folks are dyed-in-the-wool UNI supporters. The choice was natural.'

Each member of the Harris family, with the exception of Matt's dad, David, has attended UNI. Even his brothers-in-law, Ryan Cawelti and Brian Turnis, are UNI graduates. According to Matt, while his father didn't attend UNI, he now wears the colors proudly and is the staunchest UNI supporter he knows.

The youngest of three children, Matt grew up watching his parents support UNI. 'I saw them donate what they could year after year to the athletic department and the fine arts, sending more than just a tuition check,' said Matt.

His sisters and brothers-in-law have season tickets for UNI football. Tailgates at the UNI-Dome are a major fall ritual for the Harris family.

David and Linda Harris live in Cedar Falls. Kim and her husband, Ryan Cawelti, also live in Cedar Falls. Kari and her husband, Brian Turnis, live in Waukee, Iowa, with their two children, Nathan, six months and Haley, three.

Matt will graduate with a degree in communication/public relations in May.

The outdoor tailgate party will be located at the East Plaza at the UNI-Dome. Festivities will include Panther family photos, an appearance by the UNI Spirit Squad and band, music and food.

For more information, contact Keevan Kosidowski, director of annual giving, UNI Foundation, at (319) 273-6078.