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Director of Development
College of Engineering
UI Foundation News
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-3305

Release: Immediate

Gifts of $3.7 million announced during Engineering groundbreaking

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- UI President Mary Sue Coleman and College of Engineering Dean Richard K. Miller announced Friday that $3.7 million in private gifts have been committed toward the $26 million modernization of the UI's engineering building.

The announcement was in conjunction with a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of the project at the building site south of the UI Pentacrest, near the corner of Washington and Capitol Streets.

The event was part of the spring meeting of the Engineering Campaign Steering Committee, a group of volunteers that will assist in raising at least $8 million in private gifts to complete the project's funding. The $26 million modernization is being financed through $14 million in state appropriations and $4 million from the university, as well as the contributions from alumni, friends, and corporations.

Leadership gifts include pledges totaling $525,000 from HON Industries Charitable Foundation, the Stanley-University of Iowa Foundation Support Organization, Stanley Consultants Charitable Foundation, and from Richard H. and Mary Jo Stanley, all of Muscatine. As a result of this gift, the 160-seat lecture hall in the new portion of the Engineering Building will be named the Stanley Auditorium. This pledge recognizes the many linkages between the College of Engineering and the Stanley family, including: the late C. Maxwell Stanley, Arthur E. Stanley, and Richard H. Stanley, all UI engineering graduates; and all present or past members of The Stanley Consultants Group and HON Industries with ties to the college.

"We are tremendously pleased by the strong support shown by our alumni, friends, and corporate partners at this early stage of the campaign," said Miller. "These commitments demonstrate a clear understanding of the goals of this project, and the advantages our modernized facility will bring to our talented students and the companies that will employ them."

Coleman was among those turning the first spades of earth. "The impact of this new facility will reach far beyond the College of Engineering," she said. "The building will allow us to expand interdisciplinary study and research efforts with other UI colleges and with our colleagues from industry. These partnerships hold great promise for our students, faculty, and the state of Iowa."

According to Rich Wretman, the University of Iowa Foundation's director of development for the College of Engineering, recent high-level campaign commitments also include a $500,000 commitment from the John Deere Foundation of Moline, Ill. As a result of this gift, the outdoor plaza at the new south entrance of the Engineering Building will be named the John Deere Plaza.

Generous gifts from members of the Campaign Steering Committee include a $350,000 pledge from Joseph B. Summers of Hanford, Calif., who is a 1948 graduate of the UI College of Engineering; a $100,000 pledge from UI engineering graduate Allen Henry of Melbourne Beach, Fla., who holds degrees in mechanics and hydraulic engineering; a $100,000 commitment from Richard Emmert of Wilmington, Del., a 1951 graduate with a degree in chemical and biochemical engineering; and a $100,000 commitment from 1948 UI engineering graduate Randall Meyer of Houston.

The private-gift campaign is being led by Miller, Wretman, and the 30-member volunteer committee, which is chaired by 1971 UI engineering graduate and UI Foundation board member Gary F. Seamans of Aurora, Ill. Fund-raising activities for the remainder of 1997 will focus on meeting with key alumni and friends to familiarize them with the project and its benefits. An all-alumni solicitation is planned for early 1998.

Designed by Iowa City architects Neumann Monson, P.C., and the Los Angeles firm Anshen + Allen, the modernization project will preserve much of the original 1906 Engineering Building while adding a new Student Learning Center, labs, classrooms, and student-oriented study and meeting areas. The project will be completed in stages, beginning this summer.

New construction, including a four-story Laboratory Wing, new main entrance with a student commons and atrium, large auditorium, new classrooms, and the outdoor plaza, will be completed over the next three years. Renovation will then begin on portions of the existing building, with completion and occupancy set for 2001.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the University of Iowa. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide capital funds, scholarships, and other forms of support for the UI.